It is hungover, retreated from the world on my sofa and huddled in my biggest hoody, hidden in my laptop having just ordered enough Domino’s for myself and my equally hungover friends to satisfy a pre-natal class, that I write this. Laugh, go on, but take pity! I had a night (not) to remember with my dear friends, and am now paying the price. Blame the red wine and black vodka mixers that the Union continuously pressed onto my friends and me… it’s not my fault at all!
Okay, I’ll admit it. It is fair to say that your editor, normally an endeavouring on-top-of-it and organised girl, has fallen slightly apart at the seams. “Why?” You ask. Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock or… have actually been a sensible human being and have been doing your work… you may notice in fact that it’s Week 6. At the time of writing this, a bleak, windy Saturday morning at the end of Week 5 I have the joyous task of writing an essay for Tuesday in another language, an oral presentation worth 50 per cent of my grade for the same Tuesday, a class test on Wednesday, with an another essay for the Tuesday after that.
This is after having written an article and this column, worked a gruelling shift and will have spent all day Sunday designing and perfecting this beautiful section. Not to mention possibly encountering pixel brain in which I resemble a drunk person with none of the fun but all of the confusion as I try to ‘Create New Layer from Cut’ my reality. Maybe, if I can squeeze it in, tonight I can find some time for a short cry and an eating-Ben-&-Jerry’s-straight-from-the-tub-with-a-spoon session.
It’s always around this time of the semester that you realise that university is, for better or worse, the place where you ultimately work yourself to the bone for a piece of paper with your name on it. Alas, whilst it certainly can help in the long term, your extra curriculars and your social life are worth nothing unless you can strike a good work/play balance that so many of us find difficult to manage.
I’d describe Week 6 as your mother away from home, that nagging presence telling you to do your chores, finish your homework and brush your teeth before bed. And man is she everywhere. She is behind me in my bedroom, peering over my shoulder to make sure I’m no longer on Facebook or Reddit. She is pestering me to step away from the kettle and stop myself from entering another bout of procras-tea-nation. She is even in the library, where the faint chatter between mildly working friends is met with an imploring stare from the Short Loan section. She is incessant.
But what about myself? Surely I have the faintest glimmer of willpower to sort myself out and get down to business – at this point, I’d rather face the Huns with Mulan than my books on French Romantic literature. I know, like many of you, that it is easy just to work. To sit yourself down and get on with it. We all did it for our A Levels, IBs and APs. Head down, seeing nothing but a desk surface and collecting ink stains on our fingers for the majority of our last year of school, and it worked! We’re all here, aren’t we?
Well, is it just me or does university just not seem to keep up to the same level? I realise that I’m a second year and fully aware that, right now, my grades do not have an effect on my final degree classification, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some personal pride of perfection in my work. It’s almost as if I’m saving myself up for my final year after my year abroad where it will feel like A Levels once more… (Yippee…)
I just feel as if my work plays a fairly small part in my life right now. Working hard for The Saint, orchestrating the content, making sure everything looks and reads well is probably the most important thing for myself in this present moment. But that’s only because, as an aspiring journalist, it looks good on my CV to do so! Then I remember that getting a good degree is also something that potential employers like to see too…
Maybe I’m just making excuses. Maybe I should call my mum and tell her to come up and make me work. Maybe you all should just tell me to stop rambling, word vomiting my thoughts into this column, a glorified journal, and get on with it. I know I will, but right now, this newspaper, spending time with my friends before I go away, as well as designing my future home on Pinterest, seem more important to me.
No, you’re right – get to work Ellen. Just one more episode of House of Cards…