We’re back in the ‘bubble on the hill’ and well and truly into the academic year. To go with the new friends we’ve make, new places we’ve gone to and the inevitable new nights out we’re experiencing, there are new academic expectations, objectives and targets. But why do we feel compelled to treat it as a new and fresh start, when in the grand scheme of things, Michaelmas Term is simply business as usual in our lives?
We arrive at university having between us, emptied the stock of numerous stationary, homeware and food stores so perhaps the boxes full of new items subliminally suggest that it is a new start? I’m not just talking about your new toothbrush here; but the huge 1000-sheet lined paper pad, the new diary, the new set of unused pens and brand new pencils, eraser and sharpener. These are just some of the factors that instil in us a sense of fresh beginnings. Of course another factor is the objective you set yourself for the year. Maybe the previous year wasn’t your best academically or you narrowly missed the grade you wanted, and as a result have made a promise to yourself that this year will be different.
The summer break has given you the chance to reflect on what you want to get out of this next year, which makes this new start even more significant. For others, the new academic year gives you the perfect opportunity to alter your image and personality to become a new you. Perhaps getting to university has opened the prospect of a change in your look as you adopt a new sense of fashion, get a new hair-do or have a wardrobe overhaul? Therefore the newness of Michealmas Term brings with it a host of possibilities.
For most people though, there is little metaphor for waking up in your own bed at home on the morning of moving in day and falling asleep in your new bed in university accommodation later that day. The transition from your summer self to your university self brings little changes to your life. With the exception that instead of mummy bringing you breakfast in bed, you have to attempt to drag yourself out of bed and attend that nine o’clock lecture on a Monday morning, sustained only by a hurriedly digested Greggs breakfast and large coffee; it’s definitely business as usual!
I’m afraid this article with end without any words of wisdom or moral encouragement, mainly because this topic is subjective and differs from person to person. Some will utilise the new academic year to change themselves, while for others Michaelmas Term will simply be a new chapter within the same book. All I can say is that the possibility for change is there, and if change is something you feel you need, go for it! But you’ll catch me in the queue at Greggs at 08:50 on Monday, week one.