The Seven Week Slog

The news arrived yesterday that I’ve been waiting for for such a long time.

I have, at the final time of asking, had some good fortune with my exam dates. There was a possibility in the very worst case scenario that my last exam could be as late as 6th June, courtesy of the fact that we now start later in the year than we used to (although now back in line with other universities).

But this time my last exam is on the 22nd May. In other words, in seven weeks time the horror is all over. Seven weeks! I can’t believe it. This is excellent news. In recent days the atmosphere of the house has got so bad – the awkward silences, the constant attempts to avoid the Happy Couple – that I can’t wait for it to be all over.

To help me pass the time I have now decided to start work on my final essay. I’m quite proud of the fact that yesterday I put in an eight hour shift on the material I need to write it. It’s looking very good so far, I have to say. And 3,000 words ought to be a doddle when you’ve just finished a 12,000 word dissertation.

The exciting thing, if you can call it that, about my final essay is that it is somewhat more historical than all the other essays I’ve ever written. Normally the key to essay writing is to make sure you’re bang up to date with all the latest developments in the field. So the bibliography should contain a good mix of journal articles and books from recent years. This time, it is not so. This time, I am writing about a guy whose heyday was in the 1930s. I have managed to get hold of several pamphlets he wrote from way back then, and they really are quite fun things to read. Not dry and dusty like most books. These were the writings of a polemicist, not an academic.

And the nature of the essay suggests a chronological approach in the response. So I’ve taken notes and put a date on all the work I’ve got. Along with my little comments about structure, it should all come together quite nicely when I get the chance.

I’ve got four weeks to write this piece of work. I think I’m going to take this one at a leisurely pace because I know once it’s over I don’t have anything else left to do this semester apart from revise. Plus, I think I want it to be a very good piece of work too. I might as well end on a high. I could do with a final boost to put me over the finish line.

The dissertation has gone now. The seven week stroll to the end of my undergraduate career is now beginning. In all honesty, I hope it goes by quickly. What’s seven weeks between friends? I’ve been waiting for that moment for five years or more. Yes, I know I’m beginning to enter the big wide world, but I’m fed up with living here. I really think it’s important to get this kind of thing written down… because I know that in future and with the passage of time I’ll look back and think “how I regret wishing all that away”. But the evidence will be here that I didn’t enjoy the circumstances of living with certain people this year.

There’s still work to go, and the boredom of exam revision, but in the grand scheme of things it’s nothing. I feel genuinely happy and excited by life and the future for the first time in what seems like years. I hope this is just the beginning.

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