I like to think I’m just like any other student at this university: I enjoy a good ball, I’m perpetually shocked at the price of rent every single month, and I still haven’t quite decided my allegiance in the age old Empire v. Dervish debate. However, there is something that sets me (and I hope a few others, for my own sake) apart when it comes to St Andrean customs: I’m not hard working. Like, at all. I’m sure many of you are reading this right now as a form of procrastination, and if so, thank you, but before people start thinking that a) I am exaggerating or b) they are also prone to procrastination (why else would they be reading this article), I would like to explain myself.
Before I came to university, I had an OK work ethic. I revised a solid amount for GCSEs and A-Levels, and somehow managed to do well enough to land a spot here. However, I’ve always been a “work smart, not hard” kind of person. Translation: I do as little as necessary to get the result I want. Since arriving at university, these levels of procrastination have reached new heights. I have ventured into unnecessarily complex arts and crafts, and intensively researched multiple conspiracy theories and the intricacies of multiple personality disorders. I’m not sure if this is because I know that nothing I do at the moment will count towards my degree, so there’s no point over-exerting myself when I could be enjoying the perks of student life, or because I’m just getting lazier by the day, but either way it’s not an ideal situation.
But why am I suddenly becoming so self-aware? Well, like approximately 2,000 other students, I will be going into my 3rd year in September. This means that the work I do now actually matters. For me, this is worrying, as I am genuinely concerned that I have forgotten how to put in more than a day’s work for any given essay I am assigned. It has been nearly two years since I have properly revised for an exam, and because I haven’t been putting in much effort, I don’t even know what level of degree I am potentially looking to get.
How am I meant to aim for the best I can, when I have no clue what that is? Will the knowledge that my work can perhaps dictate my entire future spur me on and find that motivation that left me so long ago? Or will I be crippled with the stress of this thought and put everything off even more than I already do (which seems impossible, but nothing’s off the table at this point)?
While the looks of pity and sighs of dismay I receive from my friends, when I tell them at 9pm that my essay due the next morning has yet to be started, somewhat guilt me into sitting down and staring at the few random articles I thought looked relevant, they can only push me so far. The thing is, I know exactly what it is about my mindset that I have to change, I just don’t know if I have the inner motivation to change it. Despite this, I actually don’t regret ‘slacking off’ these past two years. There’s only a small amount of time in life where you don’t have to worry about the big wide world, so you may as well enjoy it while you still can.
I would like to make it known that I’m not trying to encourage 1st and 2nd years to not do any uni work, but also I kind of am – at least to just do a little less than you think is necessary. Enjoy the easiest years of your life, where you barely have any hours of teaching time in the week, and a plethora of societies to spend time in instead. Watch that TV show you’ve had on your list for months. Enjoy the incredibly accessible beaches and the world famous scenery. Make it your mission to rate all the drinking establishments in town and determine the best from a variety of factors.
Is it irresponsible to be saying this? Maybe I just want to drag as many people down with me. Forget what I said, work hard.
As you can probably tell, there is a lot of inner dialogue going on in my head – completely healthy inner dialogue, might I add – and I would know, I’ve done enough research on it.