If, like me, you've spent most of the summer working endless hours combined with tedious amounts of doing nothing at home, chances are that it's time for you to head back to the glorious world of University. We've all missed it, the £8 nights out, the furious scribbling of writing notes mid-lecture, slightly overcooking the pasta that you were meant to have for lunch the day prior, you get the picture. As a returning second year, not only was I anxious about an overwhelming work load, paying rent on time and making sure I can go without food poisoning for another 9 months, but would I be able to cope as a 'second year'?
After being back in Reading for just over two weeks, the answer so far is yes. Okay so lectures may have ONLY just started but, hey, you win some you lose some. I did however get my thoughts together and I was determined that this was going to be my year, I was going to be more organised, more punctual and more hard-working. Having said that, I'm still yet to purchase a folder and a pad of paper but these things do take their time. I mean, why Paperchase offer so much variety is just ridiculous, how the hell do I decide between a pretty fox notepad or a vintage folder? This, readers, is just one of the many difficult situations the average student finds him or herself in. The most important one though is something that haunts every single student across the country, no matter if you're a fresher, second year or even a post-graduate. The situation is this; what do you have for dinner? Picture the scene, the cupboards are rammed with every tinned substance possible, ranging from the simple to the strangely obscure, you have pasta packets flying everywhere, the pressure is on to make a good meal. But the question begs, will I enjoy it? Am I hungry for just pasta, or can I mix it up and throw a whole chicken in there? Or have the intuition to say 'Screw it, let's get pizza instead." But, take heed from me dear readers, no matter how hungry you get, I plead you to stick to the required cooking guidelines. As a result of my impatience and downright greediness I nearly made the fatal mistake of not cooking some meat the whole way through. It wasn't until I saw the flash of neon pink in the middle that gave it away. Yum.
Back to me being all self-motivational, I did actually try and read during the summer. Therefore, I thought to myself, I'll head back on the ball, with all these vital and inquisitive notes I had made about the themes of Oliver Twist. Now...I did read during the summer...but the books I read...may have not been on the required reading list. Or have any relevance to the course whatsoever. But I'll say Mark Haddon's new book is a cracker. But due to my, laziness or forgetfulness take your pick, I am now sat on my bed trying to cram 'A Spanish Tragedy' in my head. Obviously it's going tremendously well. However, being back in a learning environment has done wonders for my concentration. I have the urge to be academic once again, to write down endless amounts, head to the library and just dive head first in an endless pile of books, new and old. I like to think my intellect will return at some point this year.
Another new thing for second year, we have a house! Yes, we're being all grown up and paying rent, bills all that jazz. It's not been the easiest of things, as I've mentioned before, but being surrounded by the people who made my first year in Reading what it was, it's hard not to sit here without a smile on my face. These people accepted me for being the slightly odd kid who maybe talks too much, but that was okay. These people made me laugh, were there for me when I wasn't in the best state of mind and just always made me happy. It's like being reunited with my second, if slightly bonkers, family. Plus I can walk around in my underwear with no feelings of shame whatsoever. The house itself has been through a number of problems, which (for now) are all sorted. Having hot water again is something to remind me never to take it for granted. Believe me, no-one wants to wash up with cold water or have a ice-cold shower. Brrr.
So, what more is there to say? I'm on my second day and I have a feeling things will be getting extremely busy. The books will pile up, the ink stains will be relentless and I dread to think about how I'm going to learn how to reference again. But here's a promise to myself; work your absolute arse off. Because one day all this will pay off. Maybe not now, or in 2 years time, but one day. One day I'll walk into a job interview with a mixture of confidence and nerves and be asked, "So I see here you have a degree in English Literature?" to which I can smile, nod my head and reply "Yes. Yes I have."