First published 7th October 2010
The dreaded third and final year has arrived at last, or fourth if we’re going to be technical. Maybe dreaded is the wrong word, I’ve nothing against my final year as a student except that it marks the end of education (for the foreseeable future, anyway), but in one way or another I have put off getting to this stage for some time. I just simply love being a student far too much to want to rush through a degree and come out of the other end in the blink of an eye.
The limitless knowledge on infinite subjects just never fails to draw me in, which is why I’ve found myself reading about the history of science, and other varied subjects on more than one occasion as a distraction from the already heavily combined degree I’m studying. But still, it seems sad that in less than 12 months time I’ll have forfeited long afternoons of reading in the library for ones behind a desk in an altogether different setting. So that’s why I’ve come to the conclusion I should record this final stage in weekly fragments to serve as a reminder to enjoy what I’m doing, and not just fear the end of it.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve taken it in my liberty not to say no to any opportunity this year, including ones that have served little interest to me; the stickier side of university life, for example: the plastic cup and cheap spirits I’ve managed to avoid for most of the time I will now embrace just as much as anything else, or almost as much, anyway.
I think it comes down to the fact I don’t drink very well, (a sudden strike of almighty chest pain usually ends the night prematurely for me when drinking in rapid succession) combined with my lack of social skills in the same area. Put me in a room of work colleagues or students with a particular aim of being there and I’m fine to talk away to strangers for hours, but in an environment when anyone is free to leave whenever they so wish and I freeze, or my vocal chords usually do anyway. I have no idea why and I’m determined to out-practise it to the end. So I do, and I find a magical antidote known as 32 fluid ounces of fermented fruit juice, or as it’s more commonly known: two pints of cider.
This seems to be the magical amount of the right ingredients to feel a slight confidence boost, enabling me to practise the above restricted activity, while still appearing the normal and sober human being I otherwise am*.
I put this into practise to make sure: a new society social – check, it works. A last minute party at a stranger’s house as a plus one – check again. So I’ve found the antidote to make myself appear the social butterfly I long to be, now to figure out how to be prepared with the magical ingredient in all potential situations. The beer can-hat look doesn’t spring to mind as being that discreet. Maybe I could come up with a way to reverse the cider making process and condense it into a convincing apple-shaped solid? There may even be a society for that…
*Please note: I do not have an actual reliance on alcohol and do not need medical advice from spammers regarding alcoholism, thanks.