Final year; the permanent neck, eye, and brain-strain from reading too much, deadlines flying out of your ears and unprecedented mini meltdowns. This is all part of the journey! (I keep telling myself anyway). Now, I was pre-warned about how intense final year would be, but I feel like this year has nevertheless hit me like a tonne of bricks! So, how does one cope with the 101 assignments and exams looming?
Throughout modern British history, mass demonstrations and protests have often been demonised and depicted as the work of trouble-makers, hooligans and extremists. It was the same old story last week as 10,000 students descended on London to protest against tuition fees and the abolition of maintenance grants, which led to the arrest of 12 protestors.
If you're thinking about taking a leave of absence, make sure you get a few different opinions, work out the reality of what it will mean (i.e. will you have to restart any modules) and try and hold on to the fact that often taking time out can be the strongest decision, rather than any sign of failure...
Having seen first hand, numerous young people including my family and friends who are being turned off from studying STEM subjects at an early stage is concerning (and quite upsetting strictly from a Chemical Engineering student perspective). So it's rudimentary we act with urgency, and in a manner to spark interest while inspiring them to consider engineering careers.
And that's all well and good, until you realise you're already in the adult world. You're officially a grown up now. It's a whole different world at university, compared to the pampered world of home life. University is meant to teach you many things, but this is five of many things it has already taught me in my first weeks.
So you've decided to move down South - or should I say 'Saaaath'. Congratulations. You are stepping out of your comfort zone and about to embark upon far away lands with tropical climates, you can even take your July to August wardrobe with you in March. Be careful though, you are saying goodbye to anything battered.
As unions and universities, we have the perfect opportunity to grab the attention of young people moving into their new home. We can show them that it's okay to speak about consent and it's okay to speak about rape. We can be the ones to help survivors report and ask for help. We can be the ones to help destroy the shame that so often nips at their heels.
Teaching consent at Universities is not a cure-all: it is a start. We must take young people and sexual assault seriously, and the NUS and Students' Unions are taking necessary steps to do so. For those berating the need for further action, those disputing whether this is enough: there is no better place to start fighting rape culture and concepts of patriarchal masculinity, than in a classroom.