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How to tell you’re in your final year of college

Amazingly I seem to have arrived at the end of another semester already. My second last semester ever. It’s funny, it’s usually around this time I decide to write a blog in an effort to avoid every other thing  I should be doing. Currently trying not to think about the fact that by the time I have this finished I could have finished my 25% essay. But oh well. I’ve managed to get this far right?

However there’s certain characteristics about final year that you’ll only understand if you’ve experienced it. These are not things they tell you when you’re downing naggins in taxis during freshers week. Fourth year is where shit gets real, and all my past and present final year friends will understand the following..

1.The library becomes your second home.

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Seriously. You’re in there all the time, and when you’re not you’re thinking about how you should be. You get to know the security and the cafe staff on a first name basis. You notice things about it you never did before, like was that shelf always there on the second floor beside row 813.45? With that being said there is an unspoken camaraderie and solidarity about your final year library days. Everyone else is there too, you’re all miserable but you’re together. Everyone has their regular spaces and you’re always guaranteed to run into someone who is feeling the exact same. Chin up library fam, it’s gonna be okay.

2. Existential crisis’s are a regular thing.

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Honestly you’ll question who you are and where you are going in life at least 3-4 times a day.

3. The constant panic regarding your CV

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Suddenly that summer you worked with your uncle Jim for three weeks just doesn’t seem like enough. You start trying to remember any significant extra circular activities you’ve ever done in an attempt to feel more accomplished. You start thinking irrationally like maybe you shouldn’t have given up playing the guitar in 5th class? Then you’ll find yourself wishing you were one of ‘those kids’ you know the over achievers who have volunteered every summer since they can walk.

4. The sudden longing to relive every aspect of your childhood, ever. 

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You’re just not ready to become an adult and face the real world. Peter Pan becomes more and more relatable as the days drone on. The need to avoid all responsibility and hide under a blanket fort is all encompassing.

5. It becomes clearer who your real friends are.

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It sounds cliché but it’s true. After four years of college you’re over the drama. You’ve met your people and you just don’t have time for the ones who don’t have time for you. At this stage of the game you’re not out to make new friends. You love the ones you have and you’re all there for each other.

 6.You will feel like the oldest soul on campus.

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Everywhere you go everyone has ‘fresher face’. Were you that young when you started out? Were the fourth years that old? surely not like? The first years all look about twelve and you’re conscious of the fast dissent into your 20s and the fact that the glory days are long over.

7. The fear of never getting a job.

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Everyone is applying for grad schemes and talking about ‘the future’ and no one really knows where they are going to be this time next year. It’s scary and stessfull and every time you get a “graduate opportunities” email your stomach does a little flip. The fear of ending up a permanent Mcdonalds employee as never been so immense.

8. The consumption of comfort food triples.

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You need it and your justified in every single bite. Constantly deploying the “I’m in fourth year, I can eat whatever I want” excuse..

9. You’ll make a big bucket list at the start of the year

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but lets be real, you’ll probably only attempt it (and fail miserably) on the last two weeks.

10. You appreciate nights out so much more. 

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I think it’s because deep down you know these days are numbered. This is the only time in your life you’ll be able to go out on a Tuesday and Thursday night. So you might as well live up the last few months while you can.

11. The word FYP sends a shiver down your spine.

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The final year project, or thesis in some colleges. The source of all final year blues. The ever present ominous cloud. Everything becomes a countdown to ‘when the fyp is handed in’and you have never wanted to be rid of something so much in your life.

12. Family gatherings become a source of extreme anguish. This is because every time without fail some distant relative asks the dreaded “so what are you doing after college?” From now on in response I’m going to start showing people this picture:

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13. Rejection emails become a sad and debilitating part of life

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“We’re sorry you don’t have the qualities we are looking for”  Well alright lads, I didn’t want your scabby job anyway…

I’m joking please hire me…

14. Dreams of a nice clean house for final year go out the window..

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you all had great intentions of a comfortable and harmonious living space, but all that goes out the window when you realise how much time sleeping, studying   procrastinating takes up.

15. your exceptionally broke from “treating yoself”

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Everything is so stressful so you deserve to blow all of your wages on nice food and countless online purchases..

16. You will always feel guilty for being idle

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Even when you actually DO deserve a break, you’ll never enjoy it. You’ll always beat yourself up that you should be doing more..

17 your body starts to run on caffeine and sugar

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Just embrace it.

So there you have it, a few distinguishing traits of final year. Despite the trials and tribulations you know you’re going to look back and realise it was all worth it. Even if it doesn’t seem like it amidst all the deadlines, you’re making the most of every last minute, because come May, your university adventure will be over forever.  ❤