So the other day I re-enrolled on my course, picked all my modules (all three of them), and checked out my potential new timetable. Then it hit me: it was the last time I would ever do any of that. I’m a third year now, and my life, which has mostly been dictated by university over the past two years, is going to change again after I finish in April. This is difficult to come to terms with because I feel like I finally found my feet in second year, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to move on yet.
I can remember standing outside the creative writing room — we’re such a small department that we have a room not a building or even a floor — waiting for all the third years to finish so we could go in for our Writing Media class (which was my favourite that year).
Now I’m going to be one of them, striding off all purposefully, or more likely shuffling to Starbucks so I can get my caffeine fix before I attempt to expand on everything I’ve started in the workshops. Before I know it I’ll be done, I’ll have a degree, and I’ll be going out into the working world to find myself a job. It’s terrifying.
As fast as all of that will come round, there are still all the months in between, during which I’ll need to put in a lot of work to make sure I get the results I want. In true Beth tradition, I made a list of everything I want to achieve before I throw my mortarboard in the air.
Plans for third year
1. To experiment more, and not be so afraid of putting things down on paper/on the screen in a less than perfect way. They can be edited later.
2. Write the best damn dissertation I possibly can and count myself lucky I get so much freedom. In what other subject could you write your own autobiography or the opening chapters of a novel?
3. Co-edit another anthology filled with amazing, student-penned writing.
4. Write every day. It’s not realistic for me to write paragraphs and paragraphs of all my projects every day without fail, but I can write something. I want most days to be productive, with the odd rest day thrown in so I don’t burn out.
5. Have fun. I feel like I’m experiencing uni life in reverse. My first year was shit, things picked up in my second, and this year I plan to enjoy student life every night. I won’t be getting smashed every single night; I just want to be more sociable.
These seem like reasonable goals to me, so we’ll have to see what third year life brings. I’m predicting lots of deadlines, lots of library sessions, and lots of coffee.
What are your plans for this year? And you’ve been through uni/graduate stress, how did you cope? Let me know in the comments.
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Beth, 26, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin. Always thinking about my next meal.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!