Third year carries a certain prestigious expectation of being completely and utterly terrifying. Not only does it count more toward your degree, it is also your last opportunity at scoring a good mark, meaning you didn’t just waste thousands of pounds on a bad grade. For many of us, numerous deadlines have been handed out throughout the week and we are forced to think about that 10,000-word dissertation that we should have been reading for over summer. Not to mention all the job applications, the constant searching for graduate schemes and, of course, the dreaded plan of what to do with your life after university.
As I stare at the mountain of books piled next to my desk I know I should be feeling some sort of anxiety about the term ahead. I should be stressed about all the essays, readings, the extortionate amount of rent being stolen from my bank account each month (living in Surrey is expensive) and the fact that the only thing I have planned for after university is to watch all four seasons of Gossip Girl.
Instead I am calm, possibly even excited, and most of the third years I have come across appear to be feeling the same way. Maybe it’s third year goggles? We look back at the last two years with nostalgia because we know that before long we will be at our graduation, throwing our caps into the air with big cheesy grins on our faces. After the stress of second year – history students will understand the pain – third year seems to be within reach and the light at the end of the tunnel is glowing brighter than ever.
The whole process is a learning curve; first year you learn to drink large amounts of alcohol and still make it to your 9am lecture the next morning, second year you learn to panic at the sudden increase in workload and third year you learn to relax. Everything will get done and panic work sessions until 2am are unnecessary, unless of course you have done no work all week and your deadline is tomorrow, in which case buy coffee and chocolate and don’t study anywhere too comfortable.
If unlike me, you are in complete and utter panic mode, then you need not worry. Everybody is different, so just because your best friend has a graduate scheme lined up, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure for not making solid plans. Your degree is not going to waste just because you haven’t decided how you’re going to use it yet, and you are most certainly not alone.
We’re still young, so embrace the indecision and enjoy your final year.