There are four different types of fourth years – which one are you?
The end is nigh
There's a certain sense of liberation in knowing that in nine months the uni will hand you a piece of paper and spit you out into the real world. Something calming about the fact that your life as you've known it for the past four years will soon be reduced to a series of "remember whens" over 2-for-1 Pornstar Martinis at the Slug and Lettuce. Albeit, nothing is more terrifying than people asking what "the plan" is afterwards. I'm sure you've prepared a nice filler answer, maybe a masters, maybe PR, maybe travelling for a bit – who really knows?
What happens when "Hotline Bling" starts to appear on throwback playlists? When the blonde bobbed model/influencer from Putney, who currently occupies the room you had back in Baird, was born in 2000?
We may be old, but we’re not done yet. I present to you the four types you will inevitably encounter in your final year.
Live fast, die young, do your readings.
The Dissertation Darling
The Diss Darling was wild in first year, choosing to study History of Art because she wasn’t a good enough artist to do Fine Art – and she went ahead and turned her en-suite abode into the world’s largest collection of Tate posters. The big-hooped belle of Bongos, she lived out her pre-honours days to the absolute fullest, and kettiest. That was, until third year rolled around and she realised that overnight marathons in the library couldn’t guarantee a comfy 2:1 anymore.
Ask her what her topic is – go on, I dare you. She’ll have you locked in the most intense conversation about the depiction of female figure in early Surrealist paintings. Referring to any Dazed article she reads as “research” and having near sexual fantasies about her supervisor, there’s nothing in the way of her and the delusion that she’s actually adding to The Discourse.
She’ll cry, she’ll scream, she’ll make all of her flatmates listen to her moan for hours and hours on end, wondering if it’s really all worth it, as if she’s the only one in the world that has to write a dissertation, helplessly sprawled out on her unmade bed like the reclining venus of Roseneath Street. She’ll beg her parents to pay for weekend jaunts to Europe to do “research”. She’ll scoff at the mention of drinking anything that isn’t red wine and don’t you DARE try and persuade her to go on a “jokes” night out somewhere abhorrent like Hive or Gari’s – she’s an academic ffs!
The Big Four-Bound
Don’t talk about post-uni plans with this one unless you literally want to see them pee themselves with excitement. Having nabbed a sexy summer internship down in London, they’ve already managed to secure themselves a nice comfy job come graduation. One which is saving them from imminent poverty and funding the inevitable coke habit that comes with the pressure of being an Incoming Graduate Anal-whatever.
Their LinkedIn profiles are pimped out with professional pictures and references to boot, wanking off their other Big Four-bound buddies in the comment section of posts announcing their jolly job offers. They’ve strode confidently into year four with a firm handshake and an impressive collection of white button-ups. But despite the shiny promise of Canary Wharf and poke bowl lunches, no one can take away the fact that they pulled a 17 year old during Freshers' week this year. Good luck explaining that one to KPMG mate.
The Sesh Soldier
It’s five pm and you’re on your fourth library coffee of the day. Having been hit with the jitters, you go outside for some fresh air – and that’s where you see them. They try and invite you round theirs for pres because it’s Tuesday so "obviously Tron then Sneaky’s”. You stare at them in disbelief. Welcome to the headspace of the Sesh Soldier.
They most likely had a little cry (and a big crisis) before starting term this year. “Can you believe we’re in fourth year?” they say over and over again. Wanting to live out their final uni days to the absolute fullest, they fall into a freshers' style partying habit – but it’s not cute anymore. Filling up the blanks in their timetable with booze, baggies, and bassline, you kind of have start to worrying about them. Knowing how it takes you two full days to get over a night of moderate drinking, the Sesh’s Soldier’s steel liver and solid serotonin levels kind of intimidate you. One day, they’re going to crash – and they’re going to crash hard.
But, for the meantime, it’s a slew of Facebook invites to DJ nights that you don’t want to go to and rallies to afterparties that you could’ve just slept through.
The Queen of the Quiet Night
She’s been doing hard drugs since 16, got to uni and taught everyone in her friend group how to roll, had a list of boys in halls she wanted to sleep with and actually checked all of them off, has ACTUALLY been to a Boiler Room and didn’t make an ass of herself. You can say she’s already peaked – but she hasn’t even begun.
Now that the sun has set on her wild child days, she’s here for one last hurrah. She's traded in the face glitter for face masks and she will die on this hill.
The Queen of the Quiet Night is smug. One mention of leaving the house past 10pm and she will shut you DOWN. “I’m just going to have a quiet one,” is her new mantra. Every aspect of her life is a desperate plea to be treated like the adult that she thinks she is. Pot noodle for dinner? How dare you. She’s going to make a lasagne from scratch and bake it on low for three hours. Pub tonight? Abso-fucking-lutely not. She’s going to FaceTime her grandma instead. Is she going to so-and-so’s flat warming? In your dreams hon, she’s got a Bumble date that night.
Fourth year for her means an actual bedtime and a gym membership, not to mention a part time job and a penchant for Stabilo highlighters. But what happened to the days we used to show up to lectures still fucked from the night before? The messy hookups and the 24-hour McDonald’s?
Dodgy drug dealers and ironic denim jumpsuits have been replaced by diss talk and deadlines – but once graduation parties and dissertation afters roll around, you’ll see her in her true form again, don’t you worry.