Throughout my academic life, I always thought of the last week of August to be the big Sunday. The last hoorah. The existential dread starts to kick in, it feels a little colder at night, the light late nights seem to become a distant memory. Nostalgia is a cruel thing that seems to hit us before, or even during something we know we’ll miss. Do you ever spend time with someone and start to miss them while they’re right there because you know they’ll be going soon? That’s like the end of summer for me, I’m already worrying about deadlines and relapsing my library-Lucozade addiction before it’s even happened. Which is ridiculous. I barely even know what modules I’m doing yet to even have the audacity to worry about deadlines.
So, in retaliation to this nonsense, I’d like us to go on a little calming journey right now. The way to beat this Sunday anxiety is to disguise Sundays like Fridays, or Tuesdays, if you’re a Cheesy Tuesdays fanatic (beware freshers – you have been warned), or any day that makes you feel good. In essence, summer doesn’t HAVE to be our only time for joy and relaxation. Yes, seasonal affective disorder is a real thing that can affect us all, and no deadlines are definitely better than deadlines, but it’s all about perspective. I definitely feel unsure of how the new academic year will go, but I know how I go into the year will undoubtedly make a difference. Instead of worrying about the actual uni side of it, I look forward to exploring the new IKEA we have been blessed with in Exeter, seeing friends again, and finally being out of halls.
Instead of worrying about the actual uni side of it, I look forward to exploring the new IKEA we have been blessed with in Exeter, seeing friends again, and finally being out of halls.
Another thing to remember is that for the most part, September in England can actually be pretty sweet. Enjoy having some pints at the Impy under the bench umbrellas in the beautiful sun, but bring a jacket. Enjoy not really needing much to take to the club and pay those obscene prices for cloakrooms. There are many upsides to appreciate if we choose to focus on them.
At the end of the day, we shouldn’t have to assign the academic year with turmoil. If we do, what’s the point in actively volunteering in higher education? We’re all here for a reason, whether it’s to get that job, develop our knowledge/interest in a particular craft, or have weekly access to Timepiece. Whatever your motivation, that’s what we have to remember as the term looms upon us. Summer doesn’t have to be the only time for fun and self-care either. In fact, we should all do our best to incorporate the best parts of summer into our autumns and winters. Obviously, the inevitable 9ams are not a thing in summer, but going out for fresh air is, having a lazy day is, even having a BBQ is (but again, maybe bring a jacket)!
We’re all here for a reason, whether it’s to get that job, develop our knowledge/interest in a particular craft, or have weekly access to Timepiece.
It’s also possible that some of you hate summer and its sticky, unpredictable weather, and you can’t wait to go back to uni and the cold nights of Exeter. If so, great! Or, of course, many of you are starting your first ever terms at uni this week. I remember being very excited for uni before I started, but also feeling as though the end of summer was also the end of many other things. It meant not seeing my friends and family for a long time, an end to a very responsibility-free summer, and essentially an end to being well…a little kid! Uni meant rent, making your own food, trying to keep your room somewhat clean without having your mum to nag you about it. It’s scary and unnerving but let me tell you something cool about this whole spinning-planet thing. Summer will roll around again. We will all get through this year whether we’re doing our dissertations or just starting out, trying to find where on earth the Peter Chalk building is or climbing the Amory staircases for the first time. Also, snow in Exeter is pretty lovely. There is always going to be something to look forward to (maybe like joining Exeposé and writing for us…just a thought!).