With the train wreck that is 2016 coming to an end, it can be easy to lose motivation in college. As more of your favourite celebrities die off, and world politics descend to pre-war levels, everyone is feeling dispirited. You’re tired, the mice are moving into your house, and you’ve been fending for yourself for a whole three months. With the exam period looming ahead of you it can be easy to feel daunted, especially if you’re a fresher. But there are some good reasons to keep going, if only to make sure you don’t find coal under the tree this year from a disapproving Mammy.
Remember that your degree matters. Often secondary school students who seek to find fame and fortune in the manner of Oprah or Bob Dylan, will cite the fact that plenty of successful people have never earned a bachelor’s degree. This is true, but many of these celebrities lived in a time where a high school diploma or the Irish equivalent were entry level qualifications. Sadly, these days almost everyone looks for a degree. You need to have that fancy bit of paper with its Latin scribblings to ever hope of getting a high-status profession. Unless you’re inheriting the family farm, that is.
If you’re a homesick fresher, either from the countryside or the Big Shmoke, the best thing you can do to encourage yourself is to go home. Fifteen minutes into your night out, look around you. If anyone is square dancing to ‘hit the diff’, or off their head on cocaine in the corner, you’re probably better off in Maynooth. With half a loaf of brown bread, the latest parish gossip about your mysterious priest, and enough teabags to host the cast of Downton Abbey, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
As Dory says, you just have to keep swimming. Gather your highlighters, stock up on Tippex, and raid the flashcard section of the bookshop. Eventually, when the haze of Rescue Remedy and all night study sessions wears off, you’ll look back on the exam period and wonder what you were worrying about in the first place. Enjoy this time, because soon enough the dreaded results day will roll round. Then you really will have something to worry about.