Since coming back to uni after the summer and trying to come to terms with being a third year and having to write a dissertation and all, I’ve noticed something potentially disturbing about some of my fellow third years, and its been bothering me for quite some time, so I’ve decided to somewhat inarticulately express my concern.
As a third year, I understand everything’s pretty intense. The stress lecturers put on the words ‘final year’, the realization that this is it, this shit counts, the future drawing scarily closer and everyone talking about becoming teachers and all the different graduate schemes and how hardcore the work load will be, and even though the last two years have gone by horribly quickly, its still somehow hard to think back to how first year /felt/ exactly. We’ve (hopefully) all changed and grown as individuals, and are probably a little wiser than we were two years ago. But, it seems to me everyone’s taking this ‘grown up’ stuff too seriously. I can understand, and obviously planning for the future and being in a place where you know not to chug a massive bottle of vodka in two minutes and end up spooning a stray cat is a good thing. But what I’ve been seeing, all this bitching about the freshers and this idea that being a third year makes us all mature and adult and wise seems a bit ridiculous to me. When I see third years talking about how mature they’ve become and how they’ve grown out of the fresher lifestyle (this in no way applies to all third years btw), it kinda reminds me of a ten year old looking scornfully at an eight year old and saying how much more grown up they are. Obviously, there is a big difference between the ages eight and ten. Equally obviously, both are very young. And so are we.
I strongly disagree with the idea that we are yet mature, wise or grown up, or even that we should want to be. And whilst I am thoroughly on board with moderation and there being more to life than parties and numerous drugs, I really don’t think anyone near our age has really ‘grown out’ of such things. Some people were never into them, some people get bored of them, there are a million reasons not to go to them, but those reasons aren’t because ‘we have gotten too old to enjoy such things.’ Because, for gods sake people, we are still young! No one except an ageist ten year old can deny that we are young, that we still have a year of university freedom left (two if, like me, the real world scared you so much your doing a masters) and we /need/ to enjoy it. I don’t mean go out and get pissed every night, I mean don’t fall into the trap of thinking your older and wiser than you are and therefore wasting the golden opportunity /not/ to be old and wise. University is not the end of life, its barely even started yet, and the very fact our lecturers/parents/tv/newspapers are saying how we need to think about jobs/education/the future/pensions etc shows how much we need to enjoy our time at university whilst we can, before we graduate and have to start, at least for outward appearance, start to join the ‘adult’ world. We aren’t there yet, we still have many years of being young to look forward too, its the beginning of the year, the first deadlines aren’t for weeks (mostly) and its not yet cold enough to wear your gloves indoors. So please, stop pretending to be old and mature, admit the only people who think they are truly grown up are the ones who really aren’t, do something you enjoy and make the best fucking memories you possibly can.