A reflection on my final year at uni

July 24, 2015
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My final year of uni is something I’ve simultaneously looked forward to and dreaded. On the one hand, you’re comfortable, you’ve made your group of friends, and you (somewhat) understand your course. But on the other, you finally feel like you’ve found the perfect balance, and it’s all about to end.

Suddenly, there are internships, jobs and massive assignments - stuff you’ve always known you’d have to worry about ‘one day’. Well, guess what? That day is here.  

You’ll find yourself looking at a fresher and getting all, “Oh my God. He can’t be at uni - he looks, like, 12!” You’ll still refer to things that happened two years ago as ‘the other day’, and yes, you will start saying, “Back in my day,” about all the stuff you got away with in your first year. And, much to your horror, you now have to start worrying about whether or not that guy is too young for you. Your sober brain says he probably is, but does your drunk brain care?  Nope.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad.

I’m halfway through my final year and I’m having mixed feelings. I’m still loving campus life, going out and getting to push around my freshers (love you, guys). But I’ve also reached that stage where I’m lying in bed at 6am after a night out and thinking, “God I can’t wait to get a proper night’s sleep.” Or, even worse, remembering that 2,500-word assignment due later that day. That I haven’t started. At all. And what subject is it even for, again? On the plus side, after two and a half years, I’ve perfected the art of last-minute assignments. So I’ll get it done. That’s adult-like behaviour, right? I‘ve always thought so.

 People are starting to treat you like an adult, and you’ve come to dread the question, “So where are you going to get a job once you graduate?"

Your final year is also full of tough decisions. Should you stay on campus or move downtown? Where should you do an internship? And, most importantly, can I fail this assignment and still manage to graduate this year? Odds are, probably not. Get it together, girl.

Graduation and grown-up life are suddenly bearing down on you. People are starting to treat you like an adult, and you’ve come to dread the question, “So where are you going to get a job once you graduate? It’s really soon, right?” A job? Seriously? It’s 4pm, I’m still in my PJs, and I’ve got a pizza on the way. Go. Away.

There’s also the ever-present question of, “Why am I graduating again?” Like, what will an extra year matter? Well, aside from the add-on to my HECS debt, that option just isn’t for me. But hey, maybe taking a step back and some time out is what will work for you. Don’t let me stop you, but make sure you think about it.

My advice? Embrace it. This is the last time in your life you can go out four nights a week and wake up (relatively) hangover-free. Or eat an entire family-sized pizza by yourself because you walked to your class earlier, so you deserve it, right? Let’s be real: the weight gain doesn’t stop after first year. As well as that, it’s the last time we’ll have so little work to do, because honestly, despite all our complaining (you know you do it), we’re really not that busy.

I’ve met people I liked, people I loved, and even one or two I’d happily hit with my car. But overall, it’s the ones I’ll never forget who’ve made my uni years. We’ve had our rough patches, but I know you’ll still be the ones I call after a rough day, begging for a drink. The only difference? Maybe that drink won’t come from a box. There’s always gotta be a silver lining. 

Olivia Bagnall

Olivia is a third-year PR student at Charles Sturt Uni. She enjoys red wine, movies and messing with her friends. 

Image: Jessie Jacobson, Flickr Creative Commons license