Why being a third-year student is like being a middle child

March 16, 2017
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Middle children have long held the reputation of being the odd ones out.

Underestimated and overlooked, they’re the musicians, scientists and the quiet achievers – the underdogs. But on the flip side, they’re also the most likely to give off some pretty serious serial killer vibes.

With first years akin to the attention-grabbing younger sibling and fifth-year students taking on the eldest sibling role, being a middle sib is really the only spot we have left.

So here’s to embracing our awkward stage on campus as the unofficial middle child of our cohort.

You don’t get as much attention as your peers

As a third year, you’re pretty much off the radar, just like a middle child. It might crush your ego hearing this, but let’s face it, you’re kind of easy to forget. While everybody’s playing ‘spot the first-year’ with the fresh meat on campus, they forget to give us third years a shout out.

When people aren’t busy chatting about how packed morning buses are now first-years have arrived on campus, they’re full of anxiety talking about how final-year students are preparing for the workforce.

We’re a bit left out, like Nollsie in his ‘What About Me’ phase, but don’t let it break your spirit. Enjoy being unnoticed while it lasts and revel in the time spent before being forced to think too much about the future.

You’ve got a handle on things

You know what’s up on campus and first years can count on you to point them in the right direction. Being a “middle child”, you’re closer to their grade and can remember when you were in their place (i.e. doing laps of the campus to find the lecture that you’re already 20 minutes late for).

Props to us third years who are the bearers of essential knowledge like how to find the gloriously free e-versions of textbooks. We’re not too self-involved or superior to ignore newbies and that’s why we represent.

You’re independent AF

Like a middle child, the fact that you’re not the first priority means that you’ve been left alone and have to figure shit out for yourself.

It’s not necessarily a negative though. Without the overbearing spotlight on you, you get to do things your own way and discover what’s right for you.

Because you’re super independent, you’ve probably got internships, uni activities and sport all happening at once and still manage to have some downtime to hit up the uni bar during Happy Hour.

You’re your own person and that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

It’s not a bad thing that third-years show similarities to middle children. Sure, middle kids have a bad rep for being erratic and a bit strange, but they’re underestimated AF.

Middle kids are confident to do their own thing, like how third years are comfortable enough to traverse campus wearing trackies, make-up free with a coffee in hand. We know our shit about uni life but we’re also down-to-earth and willing to help a younger sib (first-year) out.

For those of us who are completing a long degree with third-year signalling the halfway point, we’ve got it good.

Before becoming too overwhelmed with our future prospects, we can enjoy the limited accountability that third-year requires. So enjoy it while it lasts!

Eden Gillespie

Eden Gillespie is an International Studies/ Media student at UNSW with a love for breakfast bagels and Louis Theroux.

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