I was always cynical when past students described their third year as being stressful. I always thought they were being dramatic, trying to scare first year and second year students of what lay ahead of them. But now, I take back every remark I have ever made, every doubt I ever had to someone’s dark tale of their third year hell.
Fairy tales are true kids, but the big bad wolf is simply a 10,000 word dissertation.
If I could have my time at University again, I would spend my first year continually drunk. I would eat as much dominos as I could afford, drink as much tequila as humanly possible, and dance until the sun rose. The student lifestyle is crazy, and trust me, most rumours you hear are true. But it is only like that until you hit your final term in your final year.
I have been sober for almost a month now (proved my sceptics wrong!); I have not danced in a club since my last night out in December; and I have not eaten a KFC mega box since I don’t know when! Instead, my life revolves around eating, sleeping, the library, and my dissertation.
I now try and go to sleep as early as possible. When during the first year 12:30am was an early night, I now freak out if I am not in bed with a hot water bottle and sensible pyjamas by 10:30pm. This month back at University has aged me about 40 years.
Although the third year is full on, like a bad smell you can’t get away from, it is exciting. In less than 6 months I will be officially thrown into the real world. A world I have been avoiding for 3 years. It makes me wonder what I have ahead of me.
Life is always going to be full of stress and there will be occasions when you want to run away and avoid it all, but it is this stress which makes life, life. We can’t run away from it, but we can’t let it consume us. No student should let exam and essay stress ruin the excitement for the future, or the fun of a once in a lifetime experience.
I imagine the end of my university experience like walking into a fairy tale forest. Who knows what will happen on my way through?