The third year rut

After a two year relationship with Exeter, FAITH RUSSELL is struggling to keep things fresh

We’ve all been there. It’s the point in a relationship when you get comfortable. The slinky lingerie gets replaced with cow pyjamas. The romantic date nights quickly become take-away nights in front of the TV. Tragically, the wild experimental sex turns into missionary and a cuddle. It’s a rut. In our third year at Uni, the same happens with our relationship with University.

Seeing the eager faces of freshers, we are reminded of our ‘honeymoon’ period at Uni. The novelty and excitement of Rococos, of new faces, of joining societies for the sake of Facebook photos. Facebook and Twitter rapidly become a frantic competition – a showcase of fancy dress costumes and new BFFS. If I were to upload photos of this year, it would consist of girls in onsies and hot water bottles.

By third year, has Arena lost its sparkle?

Yes, there may be the odd Cheesy Tuesdays sessions, but there’s only so many times you can perform the routine to the Macarena with as much excitement as you did the first time. The question I’m posing to you, therefore, is, much like a stale relationship, how do we keep things fresh? After all, a book on Karma Sutra and trip to Ann Summers might spice up a dulling relationship, but it won’t save our third year rut.

It may be time to join in the Fresher’s spirit; bond with strangers in the toilet, give that Harry Potter society a go, revisit the old classic drinking games.

These are meant to be the times of our lives, the years of our youth, and boredom simply shouldn’t be an option.

I have no doubt that when I’m in a 9-5 job I’ll look back and wish I’d made the most of every opportunity to get drunk with my only worry that I’ll miss an episode of Take Me Out.

And yet perhaps what I forget in posing this question is what we’ve blocked out in Freshers’. Whilst we experienced some of the best times of our youth at our first taste of freedom, there were also the moments of loneliness. The awkward small talk with people you have absolutely nothing in common with, the homesickness without a comforting friend, the constant pressure not to embarrass yourself.

Perhaps the shine has been taken off Exeter, but the people I’ve grown up with here have only got better. The strangers we desperately tried to impress two years ago become the family you cry at the X Factor with. In the same respect the beginning stages of a relationship may give you butterflies but you still have to shave your legs. Passion is important but it’s the moment a guy sees you without make-up and still loves you that really defines your relationship.

So thus I have no solution, but can only offer a balance between the two extremes. We will never be here again. Never will we be naive students without a care in the world. But equally we will never be seeing Exeter for the first time. What I’m trying to say is I suppose I’ll make the effort to swap a curry night for a date night. But the cow pyjamas are staying put.