Everything final year students are sick of hearing

Ask me what my plans are after uni, I dare you.

Three years have flown by. You’ve nearly done it. It’s nearly over.

You’ve survived Freshers Flu, mastered the perfect hangover cure, powered through an all-nighter, and have cooked a Sunday roast for your housemates without giving anyone food poisoning.

Before you throw your mortarboard into the air, you have to endure the final stretch of your university career. With a dissertation, deadlines and trying to figure out your life plan being stressful enough, the six words you really do not need to hear are; “what are your plans after uni?”

You are not alone. We all hate it. So, what are the top things us third years are sick of hearing?

“What is your dissertation on?”

This is the university students’ version of tragic small talk. Think “Did you see the weather last week?”

At the beginning of the year, when the idea of writing a 10,000 word dissertation was quite thrilling, we all welcomed this question. Now, six months down the line, we would rather punch ourselves in the face than even think about our dissertation – especially on what it’s about. Also, we don’t want people to judge us on our dissertation subject, like so what if it’s about the Kardashians, OK?

Photo taken by: @dv_payne.

“How far into your dissertation are you?”

Usually, this is asked by students as a test. We are not asking because we care, we are trying to give ourselves reassurance that we haven’t completely fucked it. We want to see whether the other person is in a better or worse position than we are in. Are they ahead of me? Behind me? Have they even started their dissertation yet? What do you mean that person changed their question last week? Seeing the panic on the face of the person asked instantly makes us feel calmer.

“Degrees are so much easier these days.”

Half of the people who say this did a degree back when it was free. The other half have never actually done a degree. In both cases, how would they know? Not one has done a degree ‘these days’. So where are they getting this information?


Flickr: vinylmeister / Creative Commons

“You’ll be working in McDonald’s this time next year.”

Nice. Thank-you for that comment Gary. You’re my next door neighbour, don’t really know what it has to do with you.

“I saw an article about how university students don’t know how to communicate with people. They are always on their phones. It puts employers off.”

We pride ourselves in talking to everyone, how else are we going to make a new best friend in the loos of a night club? Come on. Also, the vast majority of us have had jobs in the past. If we didn’t know how to communicate and get off our phones, how did we get them? Wait, are university students able to brainwash people? Did we telepathically make them employ us? No. So sit down Deborah and finish your tea.

“You’re about to become an adult.”

Wait. Hold up. All this time, we haven’t be adults. What a shocker. We have been living by ourselves, cooking our own meals, doing laundry, paying bills and rent, all whilst sticking to university deadlines. Are you telling me we haven’t been adults all this time? Do we not become adults until we leave university? Is that how it works now?

“You’re going to have to get used to not having student discount anymore.” 

The fact we are coming to the end of our days as a student is tough enough to register, without being reminded that we are also losing our beloved student discount and student lock-in nights. The thought that we’re going to have to wave goodbye to that 10% Asos discount and whopping 25% Handmade Burger Co discount is, quite frankly, horrifying. It’s enough to make us want to stay a student forever – even if we would have to endure more deadlines.

“We never see you anymore.”

Most of us have turned into complete hermits, but that is totally justifiable. I mean, we have so many on-going deadlines, a dissertation to think about and that’s all on top of trying to find a postgraduate job without ‘3 years experience’ being a requirement.

Photo taken by: @tessademoor.

“This is the year that really counts.”

Wow. Thank-you for telling us something we did not know. Now you’ve said that it all makes sense.

“Have you got your CV ready?”

Surprisingly, most of us have had a CV of sorts since the age of 16. We also update that CV regularly, or we have been taught how to construct a postgraduate CV, in order to make us ‘stand out from the crowd.’ There is also, this snazzy social media called LinkedIn that we pretty much all have. Now, please don’t think so little of me.


“Have you started applying for postgraduate jobs yet?”

JUST LET ME LIVE. We’ve spent the last three years, living from deadline to deadline, night out to night out. We have been working constantly for all of the three years and yes, we deserve a little break. We deserve some time to ourselves to evaluate and reflect. We don’t want to go straight into work. Surely you can understand that?

“How are you feeling about having to move back home?”

After living away from home and managing to somehow keep ourselves alive – ha, we told you mum – the thought of having to lose all of that independence is daunting. We also have to worry about how our parents are probably going to start nagging at us to go and get a job straight away. It’s not like we’ve just spent the past three years working out butts off. Surely we deserve a little break? A breather? Also, what are the rules now? Is mum going to start asking where I’m going and who with?

“Make the most of your final year, it’s all downhill from there.” 

Thank-you for really selling life to me. I can’t wait.

Photo taken by: @clubrepublic.

“Think of all that debt you are going to have to pay back.” 

This is usually said by some jerk who went to university back when it was still £3,000 a year. In all honesty, most of us tend to not think about our crippling £40,000 debt. A kind of out of sight, out of mind mantra. We tend to ignore it because if we think too much about how much money those three years have cost we will explode in panic.

“Have you thought of what your plans are going to be after uni?”

This is pretty much asked on a regular basis, by every family member. Your great-uncle John who hasn’t spoken to you since you were 6 years-old suddenly wants to know what your plans are after uni. We are all absolutely terrified and really just don’t want to talk about it. It’s another case of ignoring it, if we ignore it long enough, it’ll go away, right? But, at this rate, we will all be Googling the best ways to bag ourselves a sugar daddy in a few months.

The best thing to do when bombarded with any of these is to smile, nod and remember to breathe. You are going to do this. You’re going to be fine and it is completely OK to not have a plan.

University of Leicester