University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

6 reasons most 3rd years are on the brink of a mental breakdown right now

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Mar 18, 2015
  1. This thing called a dissertation

Six thousand words for literature students. Eight thousand words for linguists, philosophers, and historians. TWELVE thousand for engineers. What is this madness? “But it’s your very own research project. You get to focus on something you’re really interested in.” Fabulous, but what if at this point my only real interests in life are food and sleep?


  1. Life without the loan

For many of us, student loan payments are our main form of income. We’re all very much accustomed to having these nice chunks of cash bestowed upon us every four months in exchange for doing not that much, i.e. being a student. Word on the street is that after university people carry out actual, full-time labour to earn this sort of money.


  1. The plight at the end of the tunnel

For some reason, finishing university entails this weird sort of obligation to go out into the real world (*shivers*) and actually do something with your life. Do I have to? Because making decisions just really isn’t my thing, and as it stands, I’m actually quite content with my current lackadaisical, blissfully unaware, play-it-by-ear approach to all things life-related. Besides, from what I hear, my wildly irregular sleeping pattern is not compatible with the way they do things in the real world.


  1. Young, wild and free?

You’re on the home strait. Everyone’s rooting for you to really get your head down, smash your final assessments, and emerge with exactly the high class qualification you set out for. At the same time, your elders far and wide are ceaselessly insisting you make sure to enjoy what’s left of “the best time of your life”, because pretty soon it’ll never be the same again. So though you’re keen to stay motivated and really get stuck in to your third year workload, simultaneously you’re wary of becoming that super studious hermit to whom the word yolo means absolutely nothing. You might graduate with a high first but no nights to remember other than your many long and arduous stints at the library.


  1. So what are you planning on doing after you graduate?

NO I’M NOT GOING TO BE A TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!! (Fellow English students I know you can relate.) But regardless of what course you’re on, in the same way that ‘what are you studying?’ and ‘where are you from?’ characterized first year small talk, the ‘what next’ question is something us third years are getting asked a lot. And the harrowing truth is that most of us still don’t know. So please go easy on us fragile nearly-theres. If your interest about my post-university plans is not met with me gushing about my prospective round-the-world adventure or some snazzy grad scheme I’ve got lined up, you can probably take it as a given that at the moment I’m still exploring my options, and, respectfully, quit hounding me.


  1. There are literally not enough hours in the day

This is the kicker for me. I hate feeling aimless, and I want to spend lots and lots of time working out exactly what I’m going to do with my life once I’ve got my degree. But investing any substantial amount of time in that area means investing substantially less in securing the quality of my degree. Yet you and I very probably need – or would do well to have – that quality degree under our belts in the first place, in order to comfortably pursue any of the potential post-graduation ventures we’re taking the time to look into. On top of this, if you’re anything like me, that is: a) fretful about the state of your CV, and b) poor, this means setting aside even more time to work on maximising your employability, whether through work experience or extra-curricular enterprises, all the while having to hold up a part-time job. That’s a pretty hectic state of affairs if you ask me. And that’s without allowing for those hours of the week inevitably devoted to Netflix.

Leanne Valley

Leave a Reply