Second year and middle-aged
Lily is shocked at just how fast her first year at York University has gone. Now, as she embarks on life as a second year Politics, Philosophy and Economic student, it's time to buckle down - but that doesn't mean she'll be having any less fun!
Lily looks forward to living in a house with her fellow students where she can live as an 'independent woman'. But she can't quite leave her fresher past behind.
Freshers' week has just finished and I'm definitely feeling my age. I'm in my early 20s and apparently it's all downhill from here. I find myself sitting in bars wishing the music was a little quieter and calling my housemate from the sitting room to let her know that Ready Steady Cook has come just come on the TV.
The young ones are having such fun and it makes me so jealous. Frolicking freshers come bounding up with beers and smiles: "Hi, I'm 'Johnny Enthusiastic' what do you do?" You smile wearily and say, "I'm a second year". They scamper on fairly quickly, bounding past the dull oldies who actually have to go to the library this year with a look of pity and fear in their eyes. Pity at your sorry state and fear because they have it all ahead of them.
This summer was a time warp. At the beginning of July I drove home, spider plant in my arms, for a summer of part-time work and rejuvenation. October seemed so far away. A friend of mine once said that long holidays were wasted on uni students - three months tick slowly by while you dream of fancy dress parties and kebabs. On the other hand, six weeks of school holidays zoom by and before you know it you're packing your school bag again and wishing you had another week of ice creams and time wasting.
"A friend of mine once said that long holidays were wasted on uni students - three months tick slowly by while you dream of fancy dress parties and kebabs."
I'm so sorry, I really have to get a grip. Life's not so bad; I'm just grumpy from sleep-deprivation. It's so exciting having our own house in our second year after a year in halls of residence. I'm an independent woman, I'm a homemaker, I'm queen of my castle. I can watch TV in my living room, do the washing up in my kitchen and leave as many empty mugs in my room as I like.
It's not like the partying has stopped either. As a second year student the opportunity to take up the hallowed position of STYC (second and third year contact for the freshers) is thrust upon you. You get to hang out in your old halls; because we're all so sad we can't quite get over leaving. I may be the lame second year student tagging after the freshers, but my trousers still very much like to boogie. 'Access All Areas' was the highlight of my freshers' week. Every college bar plays a different type of music and you run around 'getting to know the campus' and binge drinking. We ended up in the Alcuin campus, obviously not as cool as Derwen, but still, they had a silent disco! I was so excited and wired on the sheer sugar content of my watery cocktail that I nearly fell over.
I joke about binge drinking, but the culture of alcohol and students comes up again and again. In my opinion, when you go to university you're nearly a grown-up. People know drinking is bad for them but we're old enough to make our own choices. Just as people who choose not to drink need to accept that it's going to involve mixing with a lot of people who do. Although when four people were hospitalised in one campus event and a student was found in the river after a night out, it definitely marks a dark shadow over the festivities.
So I find myself once again mulling over partying, work, and the perfect balance. I am, in fact, sitting in the library as I write my diary. The third year student sitting next to me, a shadow of his former party self, laden down with highlighters and photocopies, is dismissing my second year whines. He says my third year diary entries will just be a muddle of consonants and puddles of despondent tears. I think he's just being a drama queen, but we shall see.