Life After Freshers’ Week: A First Year’s Thoughts

Come forth, Week 3.

It’s Friday night, and you start debating the deep, overpowering, philosophical question of…  The Vic or The Union?

The choice could lead to a number of different, blurred memories the morning after – loud music with minimal conversation if you choose The Vic or a night of singing your heart out in The Union.

Wherever you choose, the night starts off the same: Claiming pre-drinks “haven’t kicked in yet” (a lie, whether you know it or not), bumping into at least 10 people you know, and of course getting annoyed by the people who have absolutely no sense of personal space.

As the hour hand rotates around the clock, your sense of reality disappears as quickly as the daylight hours. Of course, the next ultimate and underlying question is ‘what next?’

While the unfortunate students of Albany Park and DRA consider setting up tents in lieu of enduring the long walk home, others will turn to the culmination of every night: Food. Dervish, Empire and toasty bar, the holy trinity of Friday nights, satiate the needs of the masses.

Only later that night, when you’ve finally made it to the comfort of your makeshift home, do you start to doubt everything.

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The air around you draws closer and closer, the reading list in your mind increases two-fold and only your lecturer’s voice echoes in your ears as the fear of school work occupies your thoughts. The crushing sense of responsibility hits like a car crash, making you feel uneasy and alone as you begin asking yourself the big questions – questions far more important than “Should I get the 10 or 12 inch pizza?” Questions like, how important is the ‘key reading’ section? Do third-years really mean it when they say that first year doesn’t count? How quickly can I catch up on everything I don’t understand? And most importantly, am I the only one that feels like this?

To all of you budding doctors, world leaders, scientists and historians: Let us not worry, for we are all in similar positions. 

Through 18 years of education, we are probably aware by now that a full night’s sleep, good grades and a social life are impossible to balance. So why not try something different? Of course, asking the typical university student to cut down on how much alcohol they are drinking is like asking Donald Trump to stop using fake tan. Moderation, however, is worth considering. Why not only go out once a week, rather than the usual four times. When it comes to work, stop saying ‘I’ll do it later’ and just do it now.

Most importantly, understand that everyone is in the same situation. Not going out one night will not cause you to lose your entire friendship group. And finally, set yourself realistic goals, stick to them and strive to experience that sense of achievement that appears when you succeed.

So, Class of 2020: As the serious bit of this academic year commences, why don’t we remember how lucky we are to be here? In the spirit of the University motto, “ever to excel,” we must try our best in all that we do. After all, that’s what we are here for, right? 

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