Nearing the end: January is the beginning of the end for third years, but is that so bad?


They say that in relationships there come several itching points. These are moot: could be two years or five; some even say 18 months. If I’m in a relationship with university – heartbreak, check; crying, check – then we’ve reached one of these hurdles. And the cut-off is not a year or even two, it’s in weeks. Let me introduce the 12-week itch.

It doesn’t apply to everyone, but for those without final exams – Queen Mary English department, I’m looking at you – January signals the beginning of the end for third years. And this particular niggle is itching the wrong way. It’s not a point at which you celebrate a marathon relationship, but a countdown. Like a child anticipating Christmas, the itch is up on a calendar in my room. It has a place next to the week-by-week printed reading checklists, gym opening times and essay timetables, which are blue-tacked to my bookcase to scare me. But this one is a real scaremonger, for I have only 12 weeks of taught study left in my life. Ever.

My friends shush me any time the number is mentioned. It’s like the lead role in "the number after"; the Voldemort of the nearing-graduation panic. Peers try and convince me that I’ll stay on and do a Masters, biding me some more time in classrooms, but I am stoic. 12 weeks to go and it’ll all be over. No more homework, no more seminars, no more lectures. My formal education is on its last legs and there’s nothing I can do about it.

As a fresher, January 2014 was far beyond the horizon. So much had to be packed into the in between time. There were people to meet, books to read (and pretend to read), houses to move in and out of.

Now the itch has reared its ugly head, though, I’d be lying if I said I was sad. The idea that soon I’ll be writing my final academic essay is appealing, but the consequence of that, the real world whose automatic doors keep swinging open and then shut? Not so much.

Panic is the prevailing emotion. The reality is that those 12 weeks before the Easter holidays and then the black hole that is the exam term – those useless paid-for nonsense in which tutors become unreachable – are the final mile. The big 12 represent the last petals of knowledge distributed by staff in a formal environment. It is really terribly sick-making.

Those worrisome weeks in the Essay Cave mean the writing of many more words – in excess of 20,000 for me – unassisted. The feeling of finishing finals en masse, leaving a slightly smelly exam centre and going off to the pub because it’s finally over is eradicated by a strange coursework system of no exams. Though 14 May, D(issertation) Day signals the real end of the end, it’ll go off with a flop and less of a bang. A flop back into bed to recoup brain cells.

A wise Grown Up told me this week to make the most of these 12 weeks.

"I know, I’ve got so much work to do," I replied, hastily and in autopilot.

"No no", she said. ‘You need to have some fun. You’ve got 12 weeks left to be a student, use them wisely."

Guess we’d better get on with it.

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam