What Will You Do When Freedom Calls?

Currently sat in my Hallward cell (aka one of the booths on top floor) and it is a relief to be writing on something which isn’t (big gulp) the dreaded dissertation.  Although I count myself lucky that I am exam-free this deadline season, and am instead subjected to a mountain of essays with seemingly endless word counts, I can’t help but drift about the library, lamenting my detention here for the next two weeks.  Making my way through the staple Boots Meal Deal and fiercely guarding my prized booth with a plug socket, my thoughts turn to a time after deadlines and what I will do when freedom eventually calls.

1. Remember my body is my friend

This Easter, whilst making my way through approximately my fourth chocolate egg, my mother turned to me and stated rather nonchalantly, ‘you’re a bit fuller in the face’.  Now, for someone who’s been leading a rather sedentary existence for the past four weeks, occasionally reaching for the biscuit jar in times of need, this was not the sort of uplifting comment I was looking for.  Admittedly, things had gotten out of hand.  I was living in lounge wear and my idea of fun was choosing what to watch on TV that evening.  With the prospect of happier times in my sight, however, first thing on the agenda is shifting the deadline weight gain.  I intend to reacquaint myself with the cross trainer and will even consider walking into town without using the bus.

2. Socialising… outside of Hallward

In the last couple of weeks, Hallward has become a meeting ground and a hub of social activity.  This may sound like an exaggeration, but being a third year finalist, pretty much everyone I know is setting up shop in the library and getting ready for the long haul.  If I fancy a break from work, I need look no further than aisle 39, where no doubt an equally distressed friend is hopefully looking round for some distraction.  Although it is nice that we are all suffering under one roof, I’m looking forward to conversations that don’t begin with ‘how’s the work coming along?’ and ‘have you completed that essay yet?’  The idea of discussing something other than my relationship with my laptop signals good times ahead.

3. Indulging in procrastination

When things get tough, my go to means of procrastination is animal videos on Instagram.  I can fritter away minutes of writing-time by tagging my housemates in various videos showing a fat, happy cat dancing to music or a meerkat falling asleep.  When I finally snap myself out of this repetitive cycle of tagging and watching videos, I experience a crushing sense of guilt, realising that 30 minutes of my life have passed by and can never be regained.  I long for the day when I can procrastinate in peace, re-watch Sex and the City series six for the fourth time and take strolls round Wollaton Park just because I fancy it.

4. Getting white-girl-wasted

The stress is taking its toll and on more than one occasion I have been tempted to pour out a cheeky glass of Merlot.  But if there is one thing more satisfying than a glass of wine at the end of the day, it is drinking an entire bottle at the end of deadlines and waking up the next morning with a pounding headache with the realisation that you can stay in bed all day.  Making the most of my last month as a university student, it’s time to bring back those precious fresher days and pretend that real adulthood isn’t waiting for me on the other side of summer.

5. Panicking about the future

Because after final year deadlines, what else is there to do?  Whether you’re going to take that delayed gap year and find yourself in Thailand, or begin a flashy new graduate scheme with KPMG, there’s no avoiding the fact that those drunken, carefree days as a university student are over.  Maybe when I graduate and confront that waiting abyss, I’ll even miss my last few precious weeks in Hallward.

Edited by India-Jayne Trainor

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