Image: Ryan Hyde/ Flickr
Image: Ryan Hyde/ Flickr

Don’t stress about being a mess

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I don’t know at what point I was supposed to begin thinking about my future. While I started this term deciding to binge watch all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, apparently everyone else was applying to internships and attending assessment centres. I guess I missed the memo.

Somehow all of my Snapchat friends are able to attend both Smack Tuesday and Thursday every week, and I spend days trying – in between episodes of course – to write at least one word for my next essay while telling everyone I’m drowning in work.

I couldn’t possibly find time for all of this while trying to maintain my goal of completing ten Candy Crush levels a day

My question is: how is it possible to attend lectures, go out twice a week, run societies, and figure out a future at the same time? Add these on top of normal human activities like feeding yourself, sleeping, doing laundry etc. and I couldn’t possibly find time for all of this while trying to maintain my goal of completing ten Candy Crush levels a day.

I was recently bragging about how grown up I felt for buying spring onions, and then proceeded to slice my finger open when cutting them. I think that basically sums up university life: it often feels like a cycle of trying to ‘adult’ and then realising you definitely don’t know how.
I’ll admit there are days when I feel put together – usually when I find matching socks or actually eat breakfast – but somehow I’ve still never managed to begin an essay more than three days before the deadline.

Let’s celebrate whatever little, and maybe useless, thing we are proud of ourselves for doing today

I’m sure that many of you reading this are struggling to keep on top of life too, and maybe we’re all pretending to be a bit more put together than we actually are. So I think we should celebrate the small achievements, whether it’s attending your lectures hungover (despite not taking in a single word) or deciding on a title for your essay the day before it’s due. Let’s celebrate whatever little, and maybe useless, thing we are proud of ourselves for doing today; for me, that is reaching level 1152 on Candy Crush (cue applause), and I think that deserves some recognition.

It’s easy to scroll down Facebook or Snapchat and feel that you’re lagging behind, or to talk to people and hear about all the internships they have lined up, or how they’ve already completed the assignment that’s due next week.

That’s the reality of a student’s life; it’s messy and it’s the only way we know how

Ultimately, we don’t hear about the failures those people are bound to have too. We don’t hear about the declines or the hundreds of applications they sent before they got an offer. Maybe people are seeing the highlight reel of your life and feeling the same way.

Despite how hectic or confusing things can get, all we can do is go about life the best way we know how. Like getting ready or making yourself breakfast while listening to that lecture you missed last week, or speed walking (because running is not cool) to your next seminar with a cup of coffee so that you won’t fall asleep in front of your tutor. That’s the reality of a student’s life; it’s messy and it’s the only way we know how.

I confidently admit that I am a mess, and I unashamedly say I kind of hope you are too.

 

Shreya Datta

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