“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by” – Douglas Adams
Deadlines are a necessary evil. They help us organise our lives, allow us to gain marks for qualifications and provide structure to our everyday. However they also provide stress and an inevitable feeling of looming inadequacy. In me at least.
As a slightly stressed third year, it probably comes as no surprise to you that I have many deadlines. Many deadlines. For some reason, a lot of them are around now, leading to much stress, poor sleep and an unfortunate dependence on caffeine. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the rigours of uni life and become obsessed with deadlines, but that is neither helpful or healthy.
When it gets to a few hours before a deadline, there are inevitably a small group of people frantically conferring over who got what answer and whether their maths is correct. There’s also usually a few people frantically attempting to do all the questions at once and asking every other person on their course that they have on various social media sites what they got or how to answer question 3c because what even does the lecturer mean?! I have been in both groups over the course of my degree, and the reason is this: university is not just about a bunch of letters after your name with a number attached. It’s also about meeting new people and discovering new things and enjoying being in a new place, and sometimes this gets in the way of studying. Obviously one should also attend to ones degree because that is a major part of being at uni, but it shouldn’t be your sole focus. It’s certainly not mine!
Angry says I should give some advice to lessen the feeling of impending doom. I think my three pieces of Third Year Advice would be:
1. Social lives are great, but don’t let them get too much in the way of studying. If you’re stressed out then going to a social can be the best decision you could make but at the same time if you’re out four evenings a week then you only have one to do work or relax.
2. Speak to people about your work. Work is easier with others, and it always feels good to have your answers validated by someone else. This also helps with your understanding, which is more the point.
3. A diary is a useful tool to record assignments and deadlines- you’re less likely to get stressed if you can see when everything is due and what needs prioritising. One day I want to be important enough to own a Filofax. So does Angry.