Before I even came to university I had a vague, yet exciting view of what it was going to be like. My two sisters came to this same uni, and so I had a few experiences of what life was like up here. In fact, at quite a young age I even sampled the infamous student drinking culture, one that proved to be a huge eye opener for me. Probably best to keep that one hush hush though…
What I didn’t really expect was the clear divide between two groups of students. From what I’ve observed in the months I’ve been here so far, there seems to be one group dedicated to working hard, concentrating on their studies, and focussing entirely on the future.
On the other hand, there’s the second group. A ‘Generation X’ full of wasters and dossers and slobs and slackers and idiots and alcoholics etc etc. There’s no prize in guessing the lifestyle differences between the two.
Of course, there are sub groups, small ones that float about at different points of the spectrum, but generally this is a polar issue.
One thing I’ve noticed is that on Facebook there is always a select few who write such things as ‘just finished my essay yaaay’ or ‘going to get an early start on this essay, need the library books!’ a week before the deadline. Dedication at its finest.
And then, on the flipside, you have quite a few people sprouting out panicky status’ like ‘wish i hadn’t left this until the last minute. again’, or more amusingly ‘i have no idea what to do for this this essay’. These are usually seen post midnight, when the real slackers come out to play.
Sure, you could revise all day and sleep all night, then wake up and iron your socks and plump up your pillows, but is it really the point?
Yes, university is about gaining a degree, a little piece of paper that proves you are supposedly cleverer than the rest of the working class riff raff out there, one that puts you up there with the other elitist pretentious wankers out there.
However, there’s more to this life than that. Sure you could pass your chemistry degree with distinction and get a lovely house with a lovely wife and lovely spoilt kids. But when you lie in your king sized bed at night, and you think about your life, you’ll merely be remembering sitting alone in your room, reading books, or staying behind at the lab to get some extra work in.
I, myself, have another strategy, and although it’s one that I think I might have only come up with in the last twenty seconds, is one that seems reasonably sound in my head.
So, I intend on spending these three years of university having as much fun as possible and meeting as many people as possible. I will revel in the delights of alcohol and legal highs, listen to mind-blowing music and aim to spend at least a fifth of each day laughing.
Okay, so it might not land me the greatest job in the world (although hopefully it will) but when my 40 year old body lies there in bed at night, I can look back at all the good times and smile.
And that’s all I want from life.
There’s a fable that stuck in my head once I thought about this idea for a blog, although frustratingly I can’t seem to find out who by. It goes like this:
A lion lies dying, surrounded by smaller and weaker animals like rabbits and hares. The animals start taunting the lion because he is no longer a threat to them.
And then the lion says ‘Fine, but I was a lion once’.