By Gearóid McCarthy
It is hard to believe that this here is the final instalment of Fresher’s Diary for the semester. My first semester at the University of Limerick is almost complete, with only a couple of weeks remaining (excluding exams). A stark contrast from when I was in secondary school and the holidays could never come fast enough, now I feel as if I will actually miss being in university for the duration of the Christmas break.
Of course, one of the things I’ll miss the most between now and the start of next semester is none other than An Focal. Writing for the newspaper has been a very enjoyable experience and one of my favourite activities at university so far (even if my Fresher’s Diaries don’t always perfectly convey the extent of my enthusiasm for An Focal) and I’m very much looking forward to continuing to work with the paper for the next semester.
As well as An Focal, I’ll miss the societies I’m part of, most of my lecturers and classmates who I get on fairly well with and being on campus in general, because the university is an environment I simply love being a part of.
On to the life of the Fresher’s Diarist since the last issue, much of my time at the moment is being invested in attempting to rescue the semester academically and rushing through assignments I put aside, believing I had a lot more time for them than I actually did.
Furthermore I got my exam timetable, and to my dismay I had an exam scheduled for a Saturday. A Saturday, at four in the afternoon. What a farce. I have since been informed by some senior students that Saturday exams are unfortunately quite commonplace and to expect them during university, but regardless it is irritating. Generally the idea of university exams is nerve-wracking since I have no idea what to expect from them, other than the guideline given by the limited past exam papers available on Sharepoint (which are in themselves somewhat grim).
All that being said, academically, university could be going a lot worse. I received my first grade for a completed project and was reasonably happy with it, and also did my first class test of the semester and was very satisfied with how it went. Yet there has always been a malevolent sense of dread in the air around exam time for me and it is now starting to hit me.
The business end of the semester is only days away at the time of writing (and ridiculously close at the time of publication) and one cannot help but feel nervous. It’s amazing how fast it arrives too. One moment you’re just settling down in university and enjoying student life and vaguely thinking about the distant prospect of end of semester exams which, of course, you don’t need to worry about yet, and then the next you’re less than a month away from doom.
Perhaps, intending to prevent future procrastination, I should start considering my hopes for next semester already. All I really wish for is more of the same. Hopefully I will pass all of my exams by a large margin and continue to succeed academically, hopefully I will further my involvement in the societies I joined and hopefully I will carry on enjoying university life. All this, mind you, needs to come after the primary goal of surviving Christmas itself. Now that’s a real test of my resolve.