Here are all the ways you’ve changed from first year to fourth year
A one woman journey from fresher to granny
University brings with it many changes, not least that you come out of it having hopefully learnt something. One of the changes – or rather many of the changes – from first year to fourth year, you won't even realise are happening. They'll sneak up on you slowly, until one too many nights out in a row happens and you finally understand: you're just not as young as your fresher self any more.
You finally enjoy your course
If you're keen enough as a fresher to kid yourself that you actually like the introductory year of your course, then dear god I hope that enthusiasm remains until fourth year.
It's usually the opposite way around. You spend your first two years dicking around, not paying much attention because – let's face it – the lecturers don't care about you, and you don't care about them. You only need 40 per cent at the end of the day.
But by fourth year, it might come as a shock to you that you actually begin to like your course. There's a reason the library is already packed in week three – fourth year students, aside from having so much work to do, actually want to be there and find their courses and dissertations interesting.
Call me a nerd. You'd be correct.
More than one night out a week and you're wiped out
Just thinking about how much we went out in first year brings on the symptoms of a hangover. What super human strength do first years have on arriving at uni in order to be able to go out four, five, even six or seven nights a week and still function? Nowadays, simply trying to schedule two nights out a week is a struggle, never-mind the issue of whether your body can still take it.
Gone are the days you could head out for a blackout drunk night and still make it to your nine am the next day. These days, a night out requires writing off the whole next day in order to recover from the absolutely brutal hangover that feels like you've been transported to hell for a day and are experiencing all its tortures.
Your friendship group is a lot smaller – for the better
By fourth year, friendship groups become a lot smaller and more refined, but this is for the best. Deleting all those random numbers from people you met in a club bathroom in first and second year, or from the taster session of a society you were briefly keen on, is very refreshing. You begin to realise who your closest friends are. They're the ones who've been in the library with you until two am crying over essays, listening to Dolly Parton.
Your dress sense is much more you
Nights out aren't about dresses and heels (were they ever?) because you feel waaayy more comfortable in trainers and trousers. It also means that comfort is key, so forget the skimpy tops and skirts, the jumpers are out as soon as the weather turns colder. Heck, you'd probably wear your dressing gown to the library too.
You finally know all the good places to go
Four years of nights out, both good and bad, and you've finally figured out that Why Not on a Monday and Wednesday is not fun, swarming with thirsty freshers, while the less packed club nights are actually much more fun. More room to dance = a much better time had.
This doesn't just go for nights out however – by fourth year you've sussed where the best study spots are, the best places to go for brunch, and where to find the cheapest G&T. It's truly a blessing to no longer have to aimlessly try multiple different cafes in order to find the perfect eggs Benedict.
Long story short – although your body feels like it's about to give up on you half the time and you're swamped with dissertation work, being in fourth year is truly a blessing, and I do not envy this year's freshers one bit.