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Fresher’s Diary: Holiday season

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Brown thomas

 

By Kiera Thornton

 

Since I have left secondary school, a major change has happened in how I view school and college holidays. Back in school, I spent entire terms longing for the next mid-term or break and relishing every moment of the holidays when they came. My school was like a prison and of course any time spent away from it could not come sooner.

 

Fast forward to the present and being in university, and I have found that I actually no longer think much of holidays. In fact I do not see them in a positive light at all now. I would not go as far as saying I dread them, but there is something about spending a week stuck at home that is very unpalatable. I enjoy my university life so much that, when the Easter holidays came along, it was really sad that I had to leave university for a week. Sure, having a week-long break from the constant barrage of assignments, coursework and the stress of sorting out my co-op for next year is far from the worst thing in the world, but it also means spending a week away from my beloved university friends and my society activities, which is upsetting.

 

Granted, the temporary discontinuation of university assignments for a week came at a better time in the academic calendar than any other. The eighth week of the semester involved a severe rush to finish numerous essays and projects I had, to my detriment, left ever so slightly on the long finger. By the end of the week I was physically and emotionally exhausted, both from university work and the massively tiresome and socially overbearing holiday that is St Patrick’s Day. Part of me on Friday might have been ever so thankful it was Easter then. At that stage I was left with a week to take it somewhat easier before cramming in preparation for assignments due in the latter weeks of the semester, not to mention the end-of-semester exams.

 

Perfect. A week off university to do all the wonderful things I want to do, like writing, travelling, formulating my plan for toppling the world’s elite one-percent, etc. Or, more suitably, a week off university to fantasise about doing all the wonderful things I want to do, but simply ending up oversleeping a lot and spending too much time on the Internet. Although, on the last day before Easter and just before leaving campus, I had a small brainwave and withdrew some books from the literature section. I shall not be totally alone and bored for the week.

 

Maybe, just maybe, I should also actually prepare for the remaining weeks of the semester after the Easter break. I even have a presentation to work on that is due to happen in week ten that I could easily have ready to go well in advance if I set aside just a few spare hours of my holidays, right? Not at all, I will leave it to the last minute and rush to get it done the night before. (Besides, I am so terrible at making class presentations that it does not make a difference whether I put the presentation together a week in advance or an hour in advance, my debilitating social awkwardness knows no bounds and I will inevitably mess up when placed in front of even a small number of classmates.)

 

Not to mention that, as a languages student, I have oral exams to do in week twelve which I must pass in order to continue with my studies, and I have not spoken a word of a language other than English in a very long time now. Yikes. I am sure I can bluff it, in a way not too dissimilar to my distant memory of how I bluffed my oral exams roughly this time last year for the Leaving Cert. I suppose, if I were mature, I would look at the bigger picture in that my course of study requires me to spend time in countries that speak those languages. Basically I have to achieve fluency so I can live and work there for six months, and that is in less than a year from now. Whoops, now I really regret uninstalling Rosetta Stone.

 

The sad truth is that there will only be a small number of weeks left in the semester, and my first year is almost over. I would like to finish my first year with as good an academic record as I required to get here in the first place, so I am beginning to get just a little bit worried about exams and assignments. In this same piece in the last edition of An Focal, I kindly asked you all to keep me in your thoughts. Please continue to do so!

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