Experiencing Michaelmas Term for the Last Time

I am currently in my final year, and experiencing Michaelmas term for the very last time, which is terrifying to say the least. So, as part of Half-way week at HC Durham I’m going to be talking about how this feels and how I plan to make myself keep going until graduation. 

I find myself simultaneously willing the festive season to be here, and wanting to hold onto as much of this term as possible before Christmas snatches it away. University has gone far too quickly for my liking, and the idea that in 6 months I’ll be heading off back home makes me feel massively nostalgic. Reflecting on my last two years at uni, I’m realising just how much I’m going to miss Durham when I eventually leave next summer. I’m sure I can speak for most finalists when I say that I’ve become so accustomed to it as my second home that the idea of not being here seems bizarre. Knowing the date of my graduation means the end of uni is most definitely on the horizon, but, like I do with most things that scare me, I am placing the 27th of June to the very back of my mind in the hope that I will forget about it for a little while.

Instead, I’m going to make a list of ways to make the most of third year. If you’re a finalist, this may be a nice read, and if you’re just wanting to make the most of whatever year you’re in, this is also for you.

Find all the cafes, eat all the cake

This is an important one, and I know this because it was the very first idea that popped into my head. I haven’t visited all of the cafes worth visiting in Durham and I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve realised that I am yet to venture into Flat White and I have only been to Cafédral once – only for a cup of tea – and, quite frankly, this is just not good enough. At the beginning of first year my friend and I vowed to go to every single café in Durham. At the time we had three years to complete this mission. Now we have one. I don’t want to be filled with regret after graduation when I realise that I missed out on an amazing stack of pancakes or an exquisite slice of chocolate cake. Therefore, my goal is to give off more of that stereotypical-Durham-student vibe and brunch until my heart is content.

Get involved, make memories

I need to think of final year not only as my last chance at education, but as my last chance at enjoying myself in a place that I have become so fond of over the last two years. Of course, my degree comes first. But I don’t want to look back in retrospect at my time as a third-year student and only remember the amount of hair I pulled out of my head from stress. I want to remember the formals, the socials, the random nights out, and the college summer ball at the end of the year. Just because this is the most important year of my life (no pressure) does not mean that I can’t have fun. If anything, I deserve to more now than ever. It’s all about balance, and I’m all about that if it means I can boss my degree and get involved with societies and college events. Win, win!

Focus on myself

Making sure that whatever I do this year is for me, is definitely a promise that I, and my fellow finalists, should keep. If it means hiding out in our room because we feel like binge-watching Gossip Girl with a Domino’s chocolate pizza – which is something I would thoroughly recommend doing – then so be it. But if it means getting up at 8’oclock and heading to the library completely on our own every day for the next week, then, again, so be it. We need to do what is right for us. This is our year to get it right and we shouldn’t let anything or anyone get in the way. I make sure to surround myself with positive, caring people who both empower and support me; which brings me oh-so-nicely to my final point.

Keep friend love at the top of my priority list

Friend love is a real thing, and is just as important as the love you have for your boyfriend or girlfriend (if anyone says otherwise, fight them). It is something that will hopefully continue to keep me sane during my final year at Durham. Having friends that you know are going through the exact same thing as you, but are equally happy to be there for you, is so comforting. Scheduled nights in watching Riverdale, planned pumpkin carving sessions and spontaneous nights out drinking cocktails, are the reasons I chose to attend university – oh, yeah and my degree of course!

Of course, these will all be distractions from how fast this year is going. Writing this was, in fact, a distraction from how fast this term is going! So to everyone feeling nostalgic about Durham, I hope you enjoyed the read.





Image Credits:

All taken by the author