I officially finished second year a six weeks ago, but I still haven’t received my grade so there is a possibility that I have failed and won’t even make it to third year, but I’m trying to be optimistic. This time last year I was coming to terms with the fact that I was no longer a fresher (I finally accepted I was a second year at some point in January) and that ”OMG, it all counts now!”. However, if I could talk to myself a year ago I’d tell me to chill out, because third year looks waaay more stressfull and just a general ball ache (if I had some) in general.
I recently had to decide on what I wanted my dissertation to be about, (and I won’t lie, I considered writing ”Can you please just choose a topic for me? Because I haven’t got a clue”) and it hit me that this time next year I will be on the verge of graduating. This is horrifying! I will actually be a fully fledged member of ”The Real World” next year! Here’s why I’m dreading third year:
1) The Dissertation.
I have chosen my dissertation topic and I am terrified. A dissertation is not compulsory for my degree, because I do English with a minor, but I decided to do one because A) As an English student I feel it looks a bit bad if I opt out and B) I’m pretty sure my Dad would have seen toilet paper more useful than my degree (many people think that already) if I didn’t. However, the third years I knew who did dissertations sounded like they were going to end up in The Priory months before their diss was even due in.
If that didn’t scare me enough then I had the added pleasure of my dissertation supervisor breezily telling me that she’s on study leave during semester one so I won’t actually have her till semester two. It’s like my department are setting me up to fail; I imagine the relationship with a dissertation supervisor being like a relationship and the dissertation being our wedding date, so to change dissertation supervisors the semester my diss is due in is like me arriving at the alter and finding a stranger their instead of my husband – not great.
2) The fact I have to start thinking about being responsible.
I feel that when I become a third year, I will have to think of a response to the question ”What do you want to do when you graduate?” which is not ”I dunno”. I also have to start having realistic career aspirations which means being the editor of Glamour and finding someone to pay me a five figure sum to blog will have to be sent sailing out of the window. I have to emerge from the student lifestyle which is limbo between childhood and adulthood and start making decisions.
3) Some selfish people have decided that they need a placement.
My degree does not offer a year in industry, but some do, and it seems like everyone including my own Mother is going on placement next year. Of course, I’ll still have friends at university, but a lot of my closest ones have decided that they don’t want to graduate into the dole queue with me, and want to go work with some big companies. For the ones who are earning money for the year I totally understand, but one of my friends is working unpaid for an entire year, and this isn’t in some sweatshop in Asia, this is with a big British company which is disgusting in my opinion. Even more disgusting is that she chose slave labour over spending another year with me.
4) It is going to be all work and no play.
For some reason, I decided to weight my year 70:50 which means I have more work in semester one and probably won’t be seen anywhere other than in a corner on the silent floor of the library where I shall be going feral from lack of human contact. I already know that if I don’t end up being taken out of the library in a straight jacket that I will only be seen out for the occasional birthday, and this makes me sad. Gone are the days where after a bit of wheedling where I’ll be tempted into going out because I now see myself as pregnant for the entire of third year which means a strictly no (minimal) alcohol year until I give birth to my baby (dissertation) in May.
5) I know there’s things I’ll still want to do.
Three years seems like a long time, but I know there will still be things I want to do when I graduate, like buy a drink from the Starbucks, order a drink and say my name is Primeross Everdeen and when they call my name shout ”I volunteer as a tribute!”, win a fancy dress contest and make it through a semester without racking up some eye watering fines. I wish there was more time.