So, it’s 10 am on a Friday morning and I am sat in a coffee shop in my Students Union (shock). I had also spent most of Thursday night dancing on a table in Bierkeller so I looked a little bit like death warmed up. As I sipped my coffee and worked out whether I had made a terrible decision coming in for my lecture I overheard a conversation between three people on the table next to me. Now, I will out and out say it, I’m pretty nosy but I was really trying not to hear what they were saying. After about two minutes it became very clear they were first years and after turning around, their appearance confirmed it.
One of them was telling the others about their five year plan; how she will leave uni and get a job (because obviously it’s just that easy) and then after a few years get married, have children and live in a barn conversion. I liked this plan because I recognised it. At the start of first year, I too had written out a five year plan only to realise that the prospectus for universities, despite being nice doesn’t tell you everything. This got me thinking about all the things they don’t tell you…
Like clothing for example. In first year, the night before lectures I would choose what I was going to wear to ensure I put across the image of effortless chic. Now I basically have a uniform for uni: a set of clothes that are just about acceptable for the outside world but are still comfy enough for me not to change my mind about lectures and get back into bed. Leggings feature heavily in this uniform, jeans come in if I have to meet my dissertation supervisor and want to keep up the façade that I have my life together. There is one grey jumper that embodies this uniform. My mum has tried to bin it on three separate occasions upon coming home and I didn’t realise how much I wore it until I left it in a lecture and felt lie someone had cut off my arm for the two days following until I realised where it was. I have promised myself that I will throw it away after graduation but realistically who am I kidding. This general rule of absolute comfort means that spotting third years in the library isn’t difficult. If I see someone who is working the ‘pjs in public’ look too I share a sympathy smile, they know the struggle too.
Speaking of the library, you know there are always happy smiling pictures of students in the library in the prospectus. Who are these people? What courses do they do? How do they enjoy the library so much? I remember on my second day I entered the library for the first time- biting the bullet so I wouldn’t be scared of it for the rest of the year. After that I think I probably spend about ten hours a week in there… I was proud of myself, look at my library prowess. Third year has proved to be a little different, it’s not that I want to be in the library every waking minute of the day, it’s more of a necessity. I have never been more thankful that somewhere is open 24/7 and heaven forbid it be closed. Instead of looking joyful, flicking through my books with my new Urban Outfitters dress on, I don the grey jumper and stare at the computer until the need for human contact becomes overbearing.
If that isn’t fun enough, you are poor. Now there was a time that I thought I was poor. I
was wrong! I wish I was as poor as when I initially thought I was poor. Also, you’ll develop a strange fear of checking your balance. Whoever coined the phrase ignorance is bliss knew what they were talking about. I realised quickly after Starbucks declined my card that ch
ecking often was probably the better way but sometimes you just don’t have the mental strength to see that you have £10 to last you two weeks.
So while I was thinking about this, attempting not to cry into my coffee, I was trying to work out how it would be if I actually had my life together. Then it dawned on me that I’ll be gradating soon and probably should have my life together so I went back to focusing on what it would take to get through the next two hours of lecture so I could go back to bed.