Confession Time (Aimee)
You might remember me telling you that every so often, like anyone, I’m plagued by what can only be described as ‘WHAT-IN-THE-NAME-OF-SANITY-AM-I-DOING-HERE?!?’ moments.
Well, a while back, I had one and now, I want to tell you about it.
That’s right, reader buddies: our relationship has progressed! Together, we have bypassed awkward acquaintanceship and moved on to… the next level! *Da-duh-daaaa!*
It’s time for some honesty.
Like most first years, I came to uni with a suitcase full of expectations. Among these, two stood out. First, university would be a reward for working my butt off in Year 12. Second, university would be fun.
Like anyone with expectations, I had the joy of discovering that mine were pretty much completely wrong!
I soon learned that university, though it’s rewarding in so many ways, isn’t a reward for finishing Year 12. You don’t come here to kick back and chill. (Oddly enough, that’s why we have holidays!) University, like VCE, means hard work. I don’t know why someone with an 90+ ATAR like me didn’t work this out sooner. Maybe it’s because people told me that doing an Arts degree is a breeze… (Or just maybe your ATAR isn’t really the be-all-and-end-all measure of your intelligence – shock, horror, gasp! :O ) Well, dear reader, let me make one thing perfectly clear: doing Arts is in no way comparable to a gentle gust of warm air. Often, it’s more like a hurricane!
Sure, the Artsy people get fewer contact hours than the Mathsy-Sciency people, but this is not because our professors love us so much that they want to shower us with heaps of time-off. Nada. We get more breaks to do what people in other degrees don’t necessarily have to – reading, researching, reading, writing theses, reading, procrastinating about essays, reading, doing an all-nighter because we procrastinated too much… and did I mention reading?!?
And now, we come to revelation number 2.
I always thought that you came to university to have fun. You know the dream – becoming a puffed-up intellectual who dresses in tweed and spends all day debating the point of existence over endless cups of tea. (Wait, is it just me who dreams about tweed? Awkward…) Well, sure, it is fun. But, unlike Luna Park, university wasn’t built for your amusement. It’s here to help you qualify for a job.
And this is the hair-raising, spine-tingling, perspiration-producing truth – up until now, I had no clue what job I wanted. (Unfortunately, there isn’t yet a degree to help you become the greatest, richest, most likeable person in the known-universe…. but I’ll keep you posted!) Basically, this meant that I was working without motivation.
So, after these and other such goosebump-inspiring reflections, what did I do?
Surprisingly, I didn’t jump on the next plane to Siberia, go into hiding with flying squirrels and spend the rest of my life buried under my doona cover. (Though, believe me, at the time, this seemed like the only possible – nay – sensible course of action.) Instead, I did the next best thing and called a friend.
I moaned, I whined, I lamented. “I didn’t realise what I was getting myself in for! This university thing doesn’t make any sense! Poor me…!” You get the idea.
Here’s what my friend said to me:
“Well, of course you’re feeling that way. I am, too. It’s normal!”
That’s when it hit me: oh yeah, there are a few thousand OTHER people doing first year WITH ME!
What then, you might be asking, is the point? Well, my digitally-interfaced pal, if you must have a point to take away from my yakking, please don’t make it out to be that university is hard… Any duffer could think of that one!
I guess, what I really want to say, is that sometimes you will have these “OMG, this is too much – I’m fleeing the country!” moments. The thing is: you don’t have to go through them alone. (What fun is Siberia without a fellow escapee anyway?)
If – no – when you find yourself in a situation that you can’t handle, talk to someone. Anyone. Your parents. Your lover. Your unfailingly sensitive and understanding pet stick insect. Yell, scream, cry, punch things – they’ll support you: ironically, that’s what support teams are for! (Just don’t punch the person you’re confiding in, because then, you might have some problems…)
I’ll bet you five bucks (as much as my student income will allow) that they’ll know what you’re on about. Chances are, they’ve been through it themselves. Then, you can enjoy the blissful experience of shared-ranting. This will make the world a much funnier and friendlier place.
And when the sun comes out, the clouds have cleared and you’ve realised that you’re not alone, celebrate by euphorically singing ‘You’ve Got the Love’ into an egg-whisk while breaking open a congratulatory pack of peanut butter Tim-tams.
Is that just me again? Oh well.