A ‘Day’ in the life of an Arts Student
It’s not just your essays that lack structure
Your mother strongly advocates for the highly reputable 5:2 diet, where you eat kale, exercise and generally behave for 5 days out of the week, and for the next 2, you binge on all the complex carbs that you can pronounce, drink vodka like its Evian, and literally "let [yourself] go", in the words of everyone's favourite Disney Snow Woman, Elsa.
But as you are an ‘arts student’, and such a legit hermit that you have covered all your mirrors as if you are in mourning for your former self, this analogy no longer refers to the discipline of your dietary week.
Oh no, we are talking the 5:2 working diet; you’re a humanities student, so it's a healthy 5 days off work, and a 2 day bender, cramming in the library.
Therefore, to boil your week down to a particular day is futile, everyday is different and is filled with some new personal/work related disaster. The spice of life is variety, (!!) you keep telling yourself, as you sit on the shower floor, lamenting the state of your work ethic, after your diverse week of napping, crying, returning ASOS mistakes and trawling through old Gordon Ramsay videos.
In the words of Henry Van Dyke, ‘As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.’
Even though each day might be different, your utter inertia and ineptitude remains a constant for your week.
On a vaguely typical day, you arise to your bedder wading through countless halloumi encrusted bowls, at an attempt to tidy your smirnoff infused boudoir.
As they overtly judge your life choices, you stumble into the kitchen, and begin rustling up some ‘hair of the dog’/a good old cuppa tea, the only sesh that Camb has to offer.
And like the nocturnal badger that you are, you have completely given up on the flimsy concepts of time and day, a true recluse doesn’t see sunlight, so this so-called ‘day in the life’, could have lasted 340 hours for all you know!
… So when your DOS angrily asks you, ‘don’t you know what time it is?’ [as you are late to your meeting], you defiantly respond, ‘Hunni, time doesn’t exist, it’s a human invention to maintain control over our inevitable painful death’, and hey presto! You sound intellectually engaged and profound, that’s all they really want.
And nobody actually uses their lecture notes for exam revision, you keep reminding yourself, as you miss your 9am for 5 weeks in a row and trundle along to Sidge at 11:58AM; your absence at the lecture-hall is a calculated, conscious decision, you have cracked the system and are definitely getting your £9,000 worth, chachinng!!
The history faculty, is a glorified cindies smoking area; it's a chance to show your face, put in an appearance, meet and greet the fans as you glide through, judging everyone’s fashion and life choices, and desperately making eye contact with any male.
You head over to a table, and set up to begin your work for the day, and by that I mean log in to idiscover, and find the codes for your library books, and rest assured, put your feet up, because you have smashed it!!
Sometimes, for extra kicks, you look online at past papers to have a good old chuckle, and play a game of Russian Roulette by attempting to answer a random question, before slamming your laptop shut to erase the horror.
You then head to the desk to pay a library fine that you have been avoiding since week 3; the librarian spontaneously comes up with an arbitrary sum, so you quickly remortgage your parents home and deposit three-quarters of your student loan.
You smile wanly at the librarian and then scream, ‘I'm an arts student, get me out of here!!" as you hurtle towards the door, before she can sniper you down for making noise. You exit Sidgwick after a solid 23 minutes, your personal best.
You bump into a gaggle of science students in town, they are on route to some class/supervision/seminar [whatever the kids are calling it these days] and before they can even greet you, you immediately launch into defending the notion of intellectual thought, the discipline you have in organising your timetable, and proclaim that you spend your whole week ‘thinking’ as opposed to filling out a problem sheet for homework. Yes, we can proudly declare that we completed Thirteen Reasons Why AND managed to crack out a mediocre essay in one week, and we happily can call ourselves the 'couch potatoes incarnate', but they don’t dare verbalise such profanities. We must maintain this carefully cultivated image of us sophisticatedly swigging port and pondering complicated philosophical concepts as we adjust our turtlenecks and stare out into the distance through our short-sighted lenses.
You then head towards the shops even though you literally need nothing except a brief escape from your morbid existence, and arrive back from the Nirvana on earth (Tiger), with all the essentials; a nostril pencil sharpener, a dog toy and notebook the size of your toenail.
You phone is now almost frozen with hyperactivity, all the texts, emails and missed-calls from your mum are rolling in; she hasn’t heard from you in days, you frantically bang out a whatsapp about being 'busy with work but having everything super under control', and send a stock photo of a salad that you pretend you are eating, whilst you manage to salvage the end slice of your mouldy granary bread.
And like the basic middle-class gal you are, you have absolutely appropriated hispanic culture, after years of holidaying in Marbella with the fam, you have now religiously instituted their afternoon nap into your daily routine. You scream ‘siesta’, around 3pm, as you dive bomb into your unwashed sheets, and if anybody calls you out on this habit, they are just obvi racist!
… You awaken, panicked from a lucid dream of your DOS giving you a 3rd for your Michaelmas report-card, to your friends banging down your bedroom door, they are ready for pres to begin, it’s 5:30, they don’t want to queue.