I’m going to push the boat out a little, say something dramatic and controversial and hope that you’ll stick with me and keep reading. Bear with me here, I know you’ll likely have heard, or felt, differently but I’m here to claim that fourth year isn’t that bad. Sure the end is nigh, but really the time before the end is pretty darn good.
Come fourth year, we spend a lot of time in the library – well actually that’s a lie. I’m a literature student and I don’t like the library. (Heathen, I know. But there are more of us library-haters than you’d think. We’re going to form a secret club and take over the world.) I spend my time in the numerous cafes across Edinburgh and curled under my duvet with a good book. But I’ve heard the library is out there and that people spend a lot of time there. By fourth year, a great Saturday night involves remembering mid-evening that you have to be up early on Sunday to work on your dissertation and you resent anyone with a solid, post-university plan. (Only a little).
But other than the copious hours spent indoors, huddled over a laptop screen and with our noses in books, fourth year has been great. Even that time has been more than fine. You find a project you’re passionate about and spend a lot of time working out the minutiae of your argument and deciding on the best possible title for your brilliance. You realise that soon, too soon, your friends will scatter to far off places you may or may not wish to visit. You find yourself stepping back and appreciating them more. Asking the questions you won’t once you have to email and wait for a reply and laughing at all the stupid things ‘cause why not? It’s great, this university stuff. After three and a half years, we’ve got it down. We know where to get the cheapest tea at George Square and the best places for a quick lunch.
Problem is, it’s almost done. We’re now in February and come May, we’re out. That’s four months left, of four years of our lives. Edinburgh has been such a huge part of who we are; we define ourselves based on subject studied and year of study. Now, well four months from now, we become graduates (hopefully) and need to find some other way to define ourselves. All the years spent at Edinburgh have been about finding out who we are and living this crazy, student life. Soon, that will be over. And that’s the scary part. Fourth year would be even better if it didn’t end quite so soon.