Undergraduate Life: First vs Last Year

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’ll have a degree by the end of the year (unless something goes very very wrong). Here’s how some aspects of my university life has changed over the last few years.

Reaction to classmates then: “I can’t believe he thinks Australia has a president”
Reaction to classmates now: “Surely he must be trolling. No? We give degrees to these people?”

On picking an essay topic: “I’m going to really think about which of these questions I’ll choose”
Now: “I’ll pick the one where I can get away with writing about aliens”

On picking essay titles: “This needs to accurately reflect the content of the essay”
These days: “I need a joke. Or at least a reference to The West Wing”

What caused anxiety: “I don’t know what to do with my life”
What causes anxiety: “I’m not sure how to get to where I want to be”

Thoughts on referencing: “There are so many systems, I’ll never learn any of them”
Current issues: “How do you reference a video that’s in a Facebook update from a minister?”

On stress: “I have so many readings to do”
When adulthood interferes with student life: “Between full time studies, several part time jobs, and an internship, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do laundry”

What tutorials used to be like: “This requires my full attention”
Current concerns: “Do I need to stop typing this essay when I answer a question verbally or can I get away with working on two courses at once?”

Perceptions of common knowledge: “I hope I don’t need to reference that the UN is a thing”
vs: “Surely everyone knows what the second amendment is about”

On Marxism: “I hope I won’t have to study this too often”
A number of years later: “Ah, time for the annual encounter with good ol’ Karl”

When discussing academic writing with first years: “I’m not sure what level of formality this needs to be”
In 2015: “You might not want to use LOL in something you’re graded on. No, I’m not joking.”

Encountering 17 year olds: “I can’t believe they’re so immature”
When meeting them these days: “We cannot possibly be from the same generation”

Campus fashion: “People sure do dress casually”
While putting on lipstick: “I refuse to become one of the shoeless hipster plebs”

When planning for next year: “I want to pick interesting courses so I can raise my GPA”
At the moment: “So I have to write a thesis that contributes something entirely new to this field of studies, get really good marks on all of my courses, and do so while juggling multiple jobs to even be considered to be allowed to keep studying?”

On mistakes: “I’m so terrified about having used the wrong referencing system”
Now: “So I should probably email the convenor to apologise for this mess”

On knowledge: “I’ve learned so much already”
Near graduation: “I know nothing about this field”


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