So, it’s nearly February. What does this mean for those approaching the end of their degrees? In a nutshell, it means impending doom.
Well, by impending doom I mean the void that life after graduation appears to be. This is of course garbage that currently resides in the minds of those whose future is unclear, but it can feel utterly overwhelming at times. It also means dissertations, exams, and libraries. Coffee shops if you’re fortunate enough. It means lots of ‘lasts,’ bucket lists of things to do before you leave your university town that you just never got round to, and every conversation being about The Future.
It’s not helped by the rain, sleet and cold, the lack of a social life, and there’s nothing good on telly. Nor the fact that summer doesn’t look as appealing as it has done all the years previous. It’s common to suddenly become nostalgic for days when life was simple, but I’d like to remind you that of course they weren’t, you muppet, you are just forgetting the bad things about an ‘okay’ time of life. In fact, this time of life is ‘okay’ despite the bad things. That’s what life is.
I urge you to take solace in the good things about this time of year. Due to it being so astonishingly grim outside, hot chocolates and drams of whisky are perfectly acceptable, regardless of the time of day. It’s cosy, and because we’re students time is ours to structure as we wish. You can’t do that when you have a proper job. Be grateful for things like that, for the things you’ll miss. No one likes a Bitter Betty, after all.
Anyway, I’m as eternally hopeful as Gatsby, and have a belief that life will turn out alright in the end. The next two, five, or even ten years might be quite rough, but there will be good things, be they career, personal-life, family, or relationship related. It is always cheering to remember that you actually have a degree of autonomy over your life. Yes, there will be things that just happen to you, but most things are a result of your own actions and initiative, although negated by privilege.
I know this is absolutely no good if your life is bloody awful at the moment, and if that’s you, then I extend a big, fat hug to you. As winter will pass, so will the bad things. Summer will arrive, full of sun, sweat and languid days in the park. Finally we’ll be able to read those books that degrees prevented us from enjoying, and we can celebrate those beautiful, hard-earned letters that now come after our names.
Chin up, it’s nearly February.