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In a frenzy of exams, revision and dissertations, students campus wide can be found bursting out with exclamations of horror. This is too much! I just want this to all be over! Or, the crème de la crème of over-worked student outbursts: I hate uni!
Stop. Take a deep breath. Step away from the drop-out form.
There’s no denying just how tough this term is for everyone, whether you’re a fresher careering blindly towards their first exam period or a seasoned post-grad going into their finals. However, this is also the time of year we should all look back and remember exactly why we’re here, and why, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Where else can you live within fifteen minutes of all your closest friends – or even in the same big house as them all? At uni, whether upset, bored or up for a party, there’s always someone moments away. We have countless bars and cafes for us to pop into on campus for a hot chocolate, and it’s just a matter of slipping some shoes on and scuffling down the spine. Stop and think about that. A miniature town for people just your age. Isn’t that one of the reasons you applied?
So the work can get tough. But at the end of the day, you’re getting to study a subject you were passionate enough to apply for, a subject that – if you look deep inside that palpitating heart of yours – you know you still love. You’re on tap to endless resources and renowned professors, to labs and books and knowledge that half the country would give a left arm for.
Independence. Freedom. New friends from countries and cultures you’d never even heard of. That society you joined – where else would you have met twenty other people who love to bake cupcakes? Where else would you have learnt parkour? You’ve learnt to stand on your own two feet, away from home. You’ve been challenged, you’ve grown, and you’ve had a bloody good time while you’re at it.
So when you’re sat at your desk on the verge of revision-induced tears, remember why you’re here.
Last week, I sat on a hill overlooking the duck pond, watching the sun go down with my best friends, drinking wine from the bottle, smoking roll-ups and playing guitar. One of the guys said something that will stick with me for a long time. “People ask you what you want to do with your life. This is what I want to do with my life.”
As Lancaster students, we’re lucky. We’re really, really lucky. And some of us are pretentious enough to write newspaper articles about it, but cut me some slack, I’m a Creative Writing student.
Enjoy your last few weeks of term. These really are the days of your life: get out there and live them.