You’ll never get Week 5 Blues as Bad as an English Student
The ‘Blues’ intensify into, at least, like a dark navy.
Being an English student is hard (or, at least, a first-year Pembroke Engling).
It’s week 5 and, as a recent Tab article on the differences between subject workloads has pointed out, we have a reading week (which is actually turning out to be more like a week-and-a-half). Do science students have any idea how difficult it is to fill that much time whilst feeling like you’re procrastinating? The guilt of taking several full days off without even glancing at a book far surpasses your 9ams.
I finished last week’s essay on Thursday, took the rest of the day off (as I usually do) and then had my supervision on Friday morning, at the cripplingly early hour of 10 am. After that, I spent most of the day shopping in Cambridge with a Natsci friend (who sometimes managed to find the time despite that being impossible?) There aren’t many hours in the day when you get up at 10 am and unwaveringly stop by 5, particularly when you factor in extra-curricular activities like watching Peep Show.
Going to the bank was interesting. I accidentally went to NatWest even though I’m with Nationwide (they look the same, okay). I feel I wouldn’t have made this stupid mistake if I was as clever as my science-y peers. I spent the evening at some play or other: it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a Cambridge English student must be in want of some CamDram credits. Even a part in an ADC mainshow. Ah, the dream.
Anyway, I took the whole weekend off (I’d usually get started on a bit of reading at this point, but ‘reading week’ doesn’t actually mean ‘read’). Although I must say it was inconsiderate of my next door neighbour (a vet student) to wake me up as she dashed off to her lectures: it took me a full 20 minutes to get back to sleep.
Sunday, of course, wasn’t a work-day either: it was Valentine’s Day! Luckily, my boyfriend studies History so he could take a full day out too, no worries there. It’s nice to have the time for a functioning relationship at Cambridge; the companionship really helps you get through the stress of having two(!) morning lectures, and the weekly ‘mare when one of the Englings has managed to heave themselves out of bed before ten, and nabbed all the week’s reading out of the library.
Now, you might be thinking, this all sounds rosy- not half as bad as being a science student. (Or maybe you’re not, because you don’t have time to read this article.) But I’ve thus far missed out one crucial detail: at the beginning of the week, we were sent a document entitled ‘Reading Week Tasks’. There are a couple of poems we’re supposed to read, and we’re supposed to go over lecture notes (bit difficult seeing as non-compulsory lectures basically = no lectures, am I right?). Today was supposed to be the day I got on with this work.
But it wasn’t.
I stayed in bed ’til eleven (cheeky, even for me) and then spent most of the day doing what I like to call ‘satellite tasks’: you know, the procrastinate-y bits that circle the main work you have to do, rather than getting into some serious Donne. Maybe it was just because I’ve fallen out of the habit of working, but my procrastination was particularly bad. Then at around 3 o’clock, as I geared myself up to go to the library and get some books out, I ended up having a two-hour chat with my friends instead. Can you even comprehend how moderately guilty I feel?! No, of course you can’t, with your rigid timetables and prescribed hours in the lab.
Do you have any idea what it’s like to be stuck between becoming a journalist or a lecturer, rather than having your path paved towards your status as a future doctor? What it’s like knowing that we might never make as much money as you? Or what it’s like to experience the sense of righteous rage when your next-door veterinarian neighbour is given a FREE dead dog, when you’re only given a library membership?
Being an English student is hard, and Science kids need to stop complaining.