Reflections of a soon-to-be finalist

Going into your final year at university can feel like a big change, but being a finalist doesn't mean you can't have any fun

I’ll tell you something, just reading the words ‘soon-to-be finalist’ is enough to stop my mindless scrolling through Facebook dead in its tracks, partly because I read it as ‘soon-to-be unemployed’ almost by default!

Looking back, my second year couldn’t have been lazier if I tried. There’s something thrilling about being 5 VKs in at Park End and seeing your future slip away into a cloud of mist and strobe lighting. Still, second year was a joy! It was perfectly balanced, if by balanced you mean a beer in each hand. I suppose that is the privilege of an exam free year, and I shall just have to hope that the wood panelling muffles my tears of desperation as this lifestyle becomes just a faint memory and finals draw ever closer.

My final year certainly won’t be like second year, where days (and nights) slipped by in comfy routine of binge-drinking and sleeping off hangovers until midday, and where only a handful of essays (much to the chagrin of my tutors) got even a 2.1. Time to be ‘practical’, time to be ‘efficient’: both concepts I have heard of, but have yet to become fully acquainted with at Oxford. Most worryingly, I won’t be able to live off student finance after my finals, which is beginning to make me think: maybe postgrad isn’t such a bad idea after all…

Most finalists take a workaholic strategy and you have to hand it to them, it pays dividends. Staring up from my 2.2s on OxCort, I reminded myself that this university is home to so much talent: geniuses, future world leaders, the best minds in the country. Under such circumstances, it seems implausible that I actually did reasonably okay in first year. But 18 hours of exams now stand between me and escape and finals are a very different beast. If anybody needs me, you’ll find me popping a chain drinking cups of coffee to maintain my sanity as I begin to read over the seemingly infinite pile of notes I’ve managed to keep hold of.

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However, it’s easy to forget these exams are still nine months away. There are still a plenty of good club nights to go to at Bully and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be making the odd appearance in Cellar between now and then. It would be nice to have a life, for the first term at least.

One way or another I will get through to the end of my final year, but my prediction is that the journey will be far less relaxed than I have become used to. This being said, I can’t wait for another year to begin and to bring with it a new set of challenges and opportunities. And fingers crossed I’ll even come out of the whole thing with a decent degree.