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A day in the life of a (final-year) student

When: Easter Holidays 2015 (17th April, to be exact) <- Yes, I know this is late!

Where: Guildford

Subject: English Literature with Creative Writing

Year of Study: 3rd

State of Mind: constant sheer panic


6:20 am: I’m so awake! I’ve awoken naturally, as the warm sun falls on my face and – eh, another five minutes can’t hurt.

7:30 am: My heart sinks as I groggily reach for the blaring alarm. This is not natural. This is the 14th and final day of my work experience placement and fuck it all I’m staying in bed.

7:40 am: No. I am strong. I will get up and… nope. I think I’ll just lie here and think about how tired I am for a while.

8:00 am: I sit up, reach for my make-up and mirror and begin to make myself look human, without having to leave the bed. I praise myself for my intuitive solution to my need to get up vs laziness dilemma.

8:25 am: I fish through my floordrobe and get dressed as I promise myself that tonight I’ll tidy the pigsty. At least it’ll distract me from writing my essay.

8:30 am: I rush to have a quick wee before I leave and see the familiar crimson. I am simultaneously annoyed and relieved.

8:40 am: I desperately search for my keys amongst the mess that is my bedroom and find them under yesterday’s knickers. God, I’m a slob.

8:47 am: Late late late late late late late late late late holy fuck balls I’m going to be so late.

8:58 am: Early early early early early early early early early early how the holy hell am I early? I’m sweaty and out of breath, but who cares, I’m early!

9:00 am – 12:20 pm: Emails sent: 5. Terrifying questions about my future plans: 2. Phone calls made/taken: 3. Files filed: 4. Discreet texts sent: 2. Cups of tea made: 14.

12:20 pm: I walk the boss’s dog. I’m not sure what breed he is, all I know is that he runs faster than me and it was a big mistake taking him by the duck pond. This dog arrived in a shiny 4×4 this morning and has spent the day being pampered by all in the office. I reluctantly pick up his poo with the leopard print dog poop bag I was given and throw it in the bin on my way back and think about my mouldy student-house bathroom at home. It dawns on me that this dog even poos more stylishly than I do.

12:45 pm: I get back to the office, thankful to be in the cool room and out of the boiling sun. Dressed in black from head to toe, I was not prepared for this weather. As I walk in, I am kindly asked to go on the lunch run. I think of the hot sun and the steep hill of the high street and my heart sinks. I smile and say yes but my eyes must have betrayed me because I’m asked if I’m sure that’s okay. I smile and say of course. I’m dead inside.

12:50 – 1:45 pm: Town. Is. Heaving. The sun, combined with lunch time and Easter holidays is not a good mix. The high street and the shops are full to capacity with swarming people and a few tourists, armed with selfie sticks. I rush and fetch before queueing for almost an hour before I make it back to the office.

2:00 pm: I feel oddly guilty as I go on my lunch break, having spent the majority of the past 2 hours out of the office. Then I remember that I’m not being paid and I feel a little better. The clouds have, typically, come out so I sit in Costa and pay for my drink and panini all with the points on my card. Student loan is due in just over a week and I’m desperately trying to stretch the pennies until then. I sit and try to remember what time I did everything, ready for this article. How meta.

2:40 pm: I finish my lunch break early, still feeling a tad guilty for being out of the office for so long and start phoning around local suppliers for quotes on printer cartridges. The task seemed innocent enough at the start. I was so naïve.

3:00 pm: I collect and type up all the quotes I have received and send them off to my superiors, feeling pretty happy with myself.

3:05 pm: The office phone rings and I am surprised when the person on the other end asks for me, since I’m on a two week work experience placement. It is an office supplier, chasing me for a purchase. I ask him to wait.

3:35 pm: The same man has called me twice more and I’ve had three calls from other suppliers, each promising to beat the others’ prices. Who knew the world of office supplies was so competitive?

3:50 pm: I escape the phone calls and my actual work and take the dog for another quick walk. I look down at him, running excitedly along and I envy his life. I realise that I’ve hit a low point in my life but I don’t even care. I’d probably give my right leg to be that dog for a day. Or to just have essays, looming dissertation results, graduation and Real LifeTM, removed.

4:35 pm: I’ve become a pro at handling these office suppliers – most of them have backed off, but there is still one persistent bloke who will just not leave me be. He’s even promised me chocolate if we order today. I’m tempted to just buy them with my own money, just to end the nightmare.

5:00 pm: I am presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers, a card, signed by everyone in the office and an offer to have me return – paid! I present my, now rather pathetic-looking, thank you card to everyone and thank them for the opportunity. I am sincerely touched by their kindness, honestly thankful to have had the opportunity and the addition to my CV. Although my CV is getting rather full and I have a masters to undertake next year, I am still terrified of Real LifeTM and my job prospects. I’ve tried to convince myself that something will come along, but honestly, I know that I’ll probably have to move back home.

5:15 – 5:40 pm: I finish my work and pack up my desk, trying to discreetly organise the mess that I’ve allowed to cumulate over the past two weeks. I leave, after an abundance of hugs and thank yous and leave.

5:45 pm: I call my boyfriend as I walk home and tell him about my day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I miss him, it having been two days since he went to visit home. I bump into my lecturer as I pass the university on my way home and resist the urge to ask him if he knows my dissertation grade. Even thinking about receiving that mark makes me feel sick. (Even typing it now makes me want to hurl. I am so not ready.) I narrowly avoid being hit by a car as I walk into my road – not even my fault! (…on reflection, maybe a little my fault…)

6:00 pm: I get home and plaster my blistered feet – I did not wear sensible enough shoes for the amount of walking I had done – and open my laptop, intending to continue my research for my imminently due essay. I end up watching the The Simpsons (my not-so-guilty pleasure) and eat the Meal Deal that I had forgotten to take to work with me. Cheapest dinner ever!

7:50 pm: I go to the loo and reach for a tampon, knocking the entire box over as I do so. The small shred of relief I felt this morning at my period’s presence was brief and now I begin to calculate when it will be over. As I sit on the loo, I long for the luxury of leopard print poo bags. Honestly, anything would be better than this bathroom; no amount of mould remover or bleach have fixed this place. I pray that we move out before we all die of black mould poisoning.

8:00 pm: I finally open up my essay but quickly realise that I couldn’t possibly work with a messy bedroom. I half-heartedly tidy it and cram the contents of my floor into my wardrobe. The doors bulge and strain against the junk, but it holds. I nod contently and praise myself for the clean floor space.

8:30 pm: Clean room, clean mind! I write and research for half an hour before remembering that a new episode of Community had just come out and I have to watch it before it gets spoiled for me. Obviously. (Side note: If you don’t already, watch Community. Just do it. Love yourself and watch it.)

9:30 pm: I stare at my essay for a while before calling my boyfriend. He convinces me to stay with his family tomorrow and I’m excited to get away from Guildford and the stresses that accompany it for a few days.

9:45 pm: I get into the shower and wash quickly before remembering tomorrow’s commitment. I groan, reach for my razor and shave. I am constantly divided between my laziness and my hatred for my unshaved legs. My feminist values remind me of the root of this hatred. Indoctrination and consumerism and sexism for starters, but, hell, they feel so nice and silky. It’s a shame I’m too lazy to shave more than once a week, so I’m usually a stubbly mess.

10:00 pm: I make lazy small talk with my housemate whilst daydreaming about my bed. I promise to stay until her boyfriend arrives. I begin to think that I can hear my bed calling me from my room. Ellllliiiieeeeee come backkkkk, I looooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeee yyoooooooouuuuuuuu.

10:20 pm: My housemate’s boyfriend arrives. I make pleasantries followed by my excuses. As I leave they start putting dinner on. Those crazy kids. (I remind myself that those crazy kids are one and three years my senior.)

10:25 pm: I check my phone and find a hopeful sext from my boyfriend. I half-heartedly respond whilst trying not to fall asleep. It’s all very sexy.

10:30 pm: This is it. I’m no longer a young, carefree student. It is 10pm and I am ready for bed. Gone are the days of staying up until 4:00 am and sleeping in ‘till one. I’m an adult now. Sort of. I turn my lights off and my phone illuminates the room with another message from my boyfriend. I mentally kick myself for participating but am too tired to care enough to reply now. I’m sure he’ll survive.

10:35 pm: I realise that I should probably have packed for tomorrow and turn the lights on in a panic. I open my wardrobe doors and am almost knocked over by the avalanche of clothes that cascade out. I scoop a handful of clothes and shove them into a bag, along with my phone and purse. I think about packing my laptop but remember that I am travelling to a land without signal or Wi-Fi. I remind myself to invest in a Wi-Fi dongle and to research how to live in the 1900s.

10:45 pm: I am so awake. I have been ready for bed pretty much since I left it and I have now never felt more awake. I feel as if I can run a marathon or write a book or figure out the cure for-

10:45 pm – 8:00 am: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day tally:

Alarms ignored: 4

Essays written: 0

Dogs walked: 1

Office supplier phone calls taken: infinite

Flowers and jobs received: 1

TV episodes watched: 7

Rooms tidied: ½

Legs shaved: 1 ½ (turns out I missed a patch, oh well.)

Sexts received/sent: 4/3

Bags packed: 1


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