University, what do you expect?

I’ve begun the countdown to my final year at University. York starts ridiculously late, so while everyone else is over Freshers and Freshers’ Flu, we’re still twiddling our thumbs and waiting for our loans to appear.

I’m really struggling to believe I’m already two thirds of the way through my uni life. TWO THIRDS. If my degree was a cake (and I wish it was), then I’d be seriously close to full up by now.

The first slice, sorry, year, was a weird one for me. Probably the most uncharacteristic year of my life, the early months were funded by a massive mood courtesy of a crap break-up. I got vaguely involved in university life, mostly in the form of frequenting York’s nightlife (let us never mention Pub Golf 2011), and learning the perils of leaving food unlabelled in a fridge shared between seventeen people. I had a lot of fun, and learnt a thing or two about linguistics, which was useful.

My “Mandarin” essay/impression

Disappointed with how much of a mardarse I’d been in the first term, and how unproductive I’d been (short of stealing straws in anger at high drinks prices and the occasional kitchen cleaning rage), I swore I’d throw myself into second year. So I enrolled in two evening language classes, got a job waitressing, started this blog, got an editorial role with The Yorker, promised myself I’d finally get travelling, spend less time pining for home, and swore off boys.

My plan was successful. Though I bombed one of the language classes (fuck you, Mandarin), and dropped a full plate of linguini on a customer (didn’t get fired, woo!), otherwise I did pretty well. I was a lot happier overall, saw some wonderful places and made some cracking memories.

So if I’ve been improving year on year at this university lark, by my calculations, this one should be my best. So what am I expecting from third (& final) year?

Well. If the third-years in the library are anything to go by; I’ll be sat with a pen glued to my hand, pale because the enormous piles of books surrounding me are blocking out sunlight, and angrily scowling at anyone that even thinks of making any audible sound. I’ll be jealously stalking all my fresher/second-year friends online. I’ll be wishing I had a hangover, because that would mean I’d gone out and had fun the night before, rather than trying to recreate a social life by trying to befriend the takeaway delivery guy in between essays. “I remember hangovers.” I’ll say. “Hangovers used to be so great.”

I can smell the panic already. But rather than stirring myself into a tizz just yet, I’m going make myself another little promise. If all the essays get too much, and if a First appears just as likely as gaining a guest appearance on Coronation Street, I’m going to take a step back. If that’s an early night, a spooning session with my best friend, or a Friday night lost to word-count-woe fuelled tequila shots, then so be it. My degree is important to me, but so is my sanity, and I’m not going to give either up for the others sake.

Farrah Kelly

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