The Insanity of a Third Year

Unless you’ve been to university or are currently studying there (and by studying, I mean third year or above) you probably won’t believe me when I say what I’m going to say. Seriously. But I well and truly think I’m going mad (and I apologise now for my odd language, I’m currently watching Tim Barton’s Alice in Wonderland and it’s sticking with me!)

But back to the point…

Most people who haven’t been to university would probably assume I’m drunk, or at least I’ve been drinking too much lately. I wish they were right because then at least the mental tiredness would be worth it. But from first year, I never put in much effort. In fact, it probably started back with GCSEs: I just didn’t care.

There, I said it.

I’m not proud of it. I mean, I know I could have been a straight A student if I had tried, at least at GCSEs, but I just didn’t. For a lot of reasons but mostly due to laziness.

Then I came to university and that was all going to change. I’d missed my chance to go to the University of Liverpool (an offer I had been repeatedly told I wouldn’t get and did against the odds, only to throw it away) and I was going to make up for that. Well, that motivation lasted until the first introductory lecture in Archaeology where I quickly decided I was never going back. Sport was similar, except this time it was due to the massive 20:1 boy:girl ratio (me being the only girl.) By the second week I hadn’t attended any of the lectures, though I had managed to change half my combined honours to my current course in Education. It was the other one, the Sport, that I was currently skiving and avoiding the awful emails from my lecturer. Finally I got the Letter. My attendence had hit such a low that I was on a warning. I needed a meeting.

Yes, the girl who was never sent to the headteacher in her life was about to be kicked out of university.

Well, long story short I ended up studying BA (Hons) Education and Religion, Culture and Society (RCS). By the end I gained a 2:2 but thankfully that wouldn’t count towards my final grade, it just meant I passed into second year and could drop the RCS part of my degree.

Second year now this was where it was all going to change, time to get my head down- this year counted. This time the Letter didn’t come through until Christmas (oh, and then an email from a lecturer requiring a meeting for the same reason) and again I weasled my way out. This time I managed to scrap through with 63% (or a 2:1).

As you can see, I’ve not been the top student. So why is third year going to change me? Well, let’s put it this way: We’re now in the Christmas holidays which means we’ve been at university around 10 weeks. I am currently on 100% attendance (in all my modules) and scoring in the 70s with my assignments. I’ve managed to hand in three drafts (out of three) all at least a week before the draft deadline and even been to a tutorial. I’m the one of only three people who chose, and were able, to undertake a Double Dissertation. For the past 12 weeks (including the holidays) I’ve made it to the library at least three days a week for at least a couple of hours plus carrying a part time job where I work 18.5 hours and another job where I work ad hoc.

In all honesty I’m amazing myself. I don’t go out anywhere near as much anymore and it simply doesn’t appeal to me. I went out the other week with a mate to the Student Union bar and everyone constantly joked at me not being in the library and I actually felt weird.  All my previous third year friends have been the types to cram their dissertations a week before the deadline, you’d suddenly see the library spilling over with stressed third years breaking all the printers. You’d then see the odd library “regular”, those people who were the reason the library has showers. They’d pull alnighters and survive on biscuits and Red Bull only leaving to go to their lectures.

I can’t say anything’s changed. It’s purely habit which is probably getting me through, which is why when I miss a few days in the library I really struggle to get any work done. But I wish it had happened earlier!


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