It was 'Raisin Sunday' in St Andrews not long ago. It is the town's annual apocalyptic drinking binge which sees Freshers wander the streets (often tied together) like inebriated zombies. Their Third Year 'parents' are responsible for this carnage, and are usually not much more sober than their dear children. In many ways, it is like a live version of a particularly horrifying Jeremy Kyle episode.
As a Fourth Year student, I only glimpsed the action as I went to empty our food recycling caddy. I shouldn't really complain because as the mulch hit the bottom of the bin a waft of bright blue mould spores assaulted my respiratory system- no doubt that was more intoxicating than the almost lethal punch doe-eyed Freshers across the town had been guzzling since as early as 7am.
The point is that I don't have a life any more, and neither do most of my fellow Final Year students. Just as our grandparents reminisce about a time when men were men and a loaf of bread only cost fifteen pence, our eyes mist over as we recall staggering home from the Union after taking advantage of their cocktail deals. On Saturday night, I went out to see Skyfall and experienced the elated hysterics I had only ever previously associated with new mothers who have their first night out after months and months of sleepless nights and gaining an intimate knowledge of soiled nappies.
When I think about it, the only real differences are that my sleepless nights are spent planning out schedules for completing essays and job applications, and the soiled nappies have been replaced by the equally messy business of rewriting dissertation drafts. Like a parent of a new-born, I am trying to adapt to the 'push and pull' of all my responsibilities, too. The conundrum of the moment is academic work versus applying for graduate schemes. I feel that by honing my CV and completing verbal and numerical reasoning tests, I am neglecting my degree. Then again, concentrating solely on my modules means that I risk missing the perfect job opportunity. It is like Catch-22, but I don't even have the good fortune of any of this happening on a Mediterranean island. At least when I did finally leave the library I would get a suntan there.
It is hard to be the all-singing, all-dancing, volunteering, enterprising, over achieving candidate that recruiters wake up in hot sweats fantasising about. In fact, part of me will be glad when the first round of graduate schemes close their doors in several days. It will herald my new found devotion to learning all about the slave trade in colonial Amazonia for my course in ethnohistories, but it will also signal that start of a new project for me: Operation Melissa Gets Her Life Back. All I need is a pitcher of 'Jamaican Me Crazy' and some good friends- who I will fireman's lift out of the library if need be. I'll call it a rescue mission!