Dissertation deadlines creeping nearer, graduation dates announced, exam timetables released - the end of U.N.I is nigh. The question is, will we make it? It's not as if we haven't been training ourselves for this moment for the last two and a half years. It's the final stretch. But what if we fall at the last hurdle? What if our pole-vault snaps halfway up? What if...okay I've gone insane.
I don't know about you but as the days get longer, it seems my concentration span gets shorter. I am in a perpetual cycle of eat, sleep, scroll, repeat. Consistently perusing YikYak in a hopeless attempt to fill the void that is my social life and more often than not finding myself down-voting every single thing out of sheer misanthropic spite. Before I know it, I'm in the cynical cycle of despair. Turning back to my work in attempt to escape the exasperation, my Mac does the 'wheel of death' thing and I begin to forget what fun or, indeed, life is.
What has driven this demotivation? Ah yes, I remember: "Whatever you do Sarah, don't graduate." A phrase I have heard more frequently than I've been to TP this year. Worryingly enough it's mostly come out of last year's student newspaper editors' mouths. The future's bright, kids. After all this work, the shining beacon of hope on the other side is a glistening graduate opportunity. Or not, as this cruel world would have it.
Similarly battered around with equal intensity is the age-old cracker: "a degree doesn't get you anywhere anyway." £50 grand's worth of debt to come out with a piece of paper that now unfortunately means nothing to many. Publishing pros Penguin Random House this year decided to swap 'degree required' in their job summaries to 'any old Dick and Harry who likes words'. As the likely career ambition for many an English student, this news was a low blow to us library-lurking elite. While we cry over our unfinished Works Cited, Russell Brand and Richard Branson (who do not work for Penguin, but probably own a few) run wild on their 'rags-to-riches' island of uneducated success. What are we left with? A measly two letters on the end of our email signature, probably only used in a desperate attempt to gain employment.
Of course, Brand and Branson success stories are few and far between. A degree does set you up for many things: it teaches you how to think critically, work to deadlines and never do things in groups ever because everyone else is a selfish, lazy arse. (Can you tell I could only think of two bullet points for my CV?) And, well, it's fun, isn't it?
The social side of uni has been just as wonderful as my academic pursuits, so much in fact that now all I can think of is dropping the latter and fervently focussing on the former. If only my dissertation conclusion could merely be a comprehensive list of everything I plan to achieve after its hand-in. I'll call it my 'third term theory'. Why summarise my over-arching and inevitably limp academic argument, when I could instead detail my impending alcohol abuse.
The fact is however, while we're doubting our dwindling motivation now, we must power through. We must finish our degrees because everyone else already has - and we are nothing if not pathetic little sheep. We must finish our degrees in order to have a degree just like everyone else and go for the same degree-worthy employment opportunities where other people with degrees ask us what makes us different from everyone else (with a degree).
What's that you say? Post-grad loans? Oh, go on then.