As we reach the end of the academic year, we may congratulate ourselves for becoming just that little bit wiser.
But after all the laughter, sweat, tears, (self inflicted sickness) what advice would have been useful for our former, younger selves?
- Netflix is both the best and worst thing that will ever happen to you.
It’s cheaper than a bottle of wine and has all the benefits of socialising (happiness, comfort and entertainment) without you having to speak with anyone. It will, however, also take over your life. Binge watching has become an all-too-real public health risk, and you don’t even want to think about how much you could have learnt if you’d never pressed play on the first episode of Scrubs/Breaking Bad/Gossip Girl.
- The people you meet in Freshers' Week are unlikely to be your best friends for the next four years.
Plus, it seems like your drunken taste in people can be very skewed..... You may think their loutish behaviour and ability to dance like no one’s watching is cool and fun in the dark of the night, but it turns out that in the harsh light of day (and with a slight hangover), they can be pretty annoying! On that note, don’t rush into choosing future flatmates either, it’s definitely a post-Christmas job.
- Don’t get the reputation as “The Flat Cleaner”.
You will regret it. Sure, it seems okay in the first three days to be that care-free person who’s happy to clear up the dishes – what you won’t appreciate is three months in when everyone assumes you’re still game and you’re scrubbing encrusted pasta from a bowl that has been festering in someone’s room for at least a week.
- Don’t spend all your money at the beginning of the semester.
There’s always that one person who gets their student finance and then lives the life of luxury… for an entire week. After that, it’s tinned fish for dinner every night, an endless cycle of scrounging from friends and then the dreaded phone call to the parents back home, where you have to admit your budgeting incompetency and grovel for money just to survive.
- It’s not worth leaving that essay until the night before
Of course, there will always be some anomalies who seem to be able to calmly write a 2000 word essay 6 hours before it’s due – but, according to statistics, it’s unlikely you’re one of them. And it’s definitely not worth taking the chance. The countless cups of coffee, at least three serious contemplations of quitting your degree and possible hallucinations due to a distinct lack of sleep leave you far worse off than if you’d just got your act together and started a few days before the deadline. Even if you have to find out the hard way, you’ll end up with the ‘never again’ mentality.