While first-years arrive at Warwick with a sense of excitement, for finalists it is widely accepted that you should approach your final year with a sense of trepidation.
Spending free time crafting job applications, and then staying up all night to work on your degree? That’s just the way it is, we are told by wizened ex-finalists, whose erstwhile expressions of joy are replaced by grave seriousness.
Well, I disagree. The fact is that finalists still have a significant role to play beyond being chained to the ‘next step’ of their life. They can rise to the pinnacle of their chosen societies, helping to integrate freshers. They can keep playing their sport and performing in plays. Hey, they can even go out and enjoy themselves once in a while.
I believe final year is about evolution rather than revolution, namely embracing the foe of many students, ‘time-management’. Third-year for me will be about eschewing the allure of a Sunday watching the US Office on Netflix (not easy to do) and admitting that it would probably be better spent doing something more productive.
But this doesn’t mean that third-year is some kind of purgatory before the dizzying heights of a paid job. It can be interesting and fun; you are allowed to meet new people and try activities you haven’t before. That’s what university is about.
The fact is that finalists still have a significant role to play beyond being chained to the ‘next step’ of their life.
It is important for third-years to keep an eye on the future, but so many direct their whole attention towards the ‘next step’, casting aside the here and now. University is a fantastic but all-too-brief step in our lives; why write off a year of it? Once you are in the ‘daily grind’ of employment, you truly will be in a regimented routine.
This is really a call to all finalists not to troop back to Warwick with a sense of defeatism. Enjoy the fact that there will be new experiences ahead of you, the twists, turns, calamities and triumphs that every year at university brings.
Of course there will be times when the stress and pressure of looming exams and graduate scheme applications become significant. But cross that bridge when you come to it. Make the journey to the bridge as varied and enjoyable as you can, rather than accepting as gospel the rumours that final year is horrible. Live your life!
Header image courtesy of Warwick Media Library