May. For some, spring has sprung, and summer is coming. The flowers are pretty, the air is warm and the rosé and Pimms have returned to the fridge in copious quantities.
For others: sleepless nights, sleepy days, scribbled writing, biros that don’t work, a body drowning in caffeine, and anxiety at 100%. In other words, exam season. Only a thin library window separates me from people outside popping bottles of Prosecco.
In a matter of weeks, however, I will be one of them. A graduate. A civilian. University will release me from its protective hold and throw me into the abyss of life for which I am totally unprepared. Now, I can’t help but be reflective. I ask myself: what have I learnt? Have I learnt anything? The answer is not the Harvard referencing system, effective timetabling, or a revision method. Rather, here is what I have learnt:
1. Everyone hates Freshers' Week
It’s the worst. Fake fun, fake friendship. Only the minority actually enjoyed their first seven days.
2. “No-one cares”
She will forever deny it and say that I take it out of context... But as I cried down the phone to my mum in Freshers' week, she told me “no-one cares about your problems - get on with it.” I still don’t know how I feel about this piece of advice, but it is certainly one that has stuck with me.
3. To cry
I couldn’t cry before I came to uni. I laughed at people’s problems (and my own) because I was incapable of empathy and despair. Now, I am a new woman. I can cry anytime, about anything, to anyone. On the way to uni, in uni, on the way home… I am under the impression (or just hopeful) that everyone else does it too. But it is cathartic, so cry away, everyone.
4. To nap
There is nothing wrong with waking up at 11am and napping at 2pm. In fact, it is the best way to avoid every single one of your problems while feeling like you’re doing something useful.
icantworkimsotired #excusesexcuses #iaccidentallyfellasleep.
5. Alcohol solves (and causes) all problems.
When every day involves going to the library and then going home to eat and sleep, there's no difference between getting drunk on a Sunday and a Friday. Just make sure you get your work done.
6. I have no interest in telling the class something fun about myself
There is little to elaborate on here. I am going to assume we have all felt the fear of having to offer up a ‘fun fact’, and so I will not make us delve back into the nightmarish past.
7. Procrastination comes in all shapes and sizes
Looking at the wall for ten minutes? Yes, that counts. Counting how many times you’ve chewed your gum in the last ten seconds? That counts too. Walking endlessly around the library looking for a book that doesn’t exist? Definitely, counts.
8. The library is a runway.
Any boy you’ve ever fancied and any ‘cool’ girl you’ve always wanted to consider you worth their time? They are all in the library. From someone who knows - dressing like Kendall Jenner for an average Monday at the lib rarely fails to get attention.
9. To ‘do you’
You do you; keep doing you. Two variations of the same phrase, and one I say far too often. In the end, I enjoyed my fourth year far more than any of my others because I did what I wanted. Not what a social convention told me I should. You only get to do uni once - you should do it the way you want.
But most importantly…
10. I’ve got this
There is no situation, crisis, or deadline that can’t be dealt with. It might be hard, and it probably won’t be fun, but everything can be remedied. Of my four years, this is my most important lesson. The big bad world will be tough but I, as do you, have most definitely got this.
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