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Everything you thought you would have down by third year

Some things never change

Your final year of university is the year you thought you'd finally get your shit together. First year didn't count, second year was a learning curve. Your year abroad helped you find yourself, and now you're ready to get out of your overdraft, throw yourself in the oceanic deep end of dissertation study, get some nice house plants and learn how to make soup.

However, you get two weeks in and find out you're still exactly the same. You still miss your 9ams, make terrible decisions on nights out, and can't even look after cacti, let alone yourself. Here's everything you thought you'd have nailed by your final year at university.

How to write a good essay

How to write a good essay is something you were sure you'd have nailed. Sitting half-paralytic in the smoking area outside '42s as a Fresher, you were comforted only by the prospect of going home for those leftover chips, and the vague presumption that once you'd accelerated to your third year, you'd be a master essay writer, spinning pure written gold in the time it takes to cook Uncle Ben's Easy Cook Rice.

The reality? Well, you're probably aware of how to write an essay. Scrap the 'good'. Sure you may have scraped a few 2:1s, even improving as time went on, but as soon as it comes to sitting down to write an essay, you're still not really sure where to start.

Essay writing is something you probably should have learnt over the last two years, but those relentless all-nighters in the library haven't failed you… yet. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?!

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Keeping up with the workload

By third year, you manage to do all the reading, but it is often a lot nearer the deadline than you first planned. Even though you've grown as a person, with ambitions of keeping on top of everything and going for a First, you're still frantically trying to catch up during reading week, aren't you?

Meal prep for the week

You probably thought you'd be a domestic goddess in the kitchen, cooking batches of spaghetti and chilli for the rest of the week, to save both time and money. But instead eating out and delivery has become more frequent.

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Terrible decisions

Stupid decision making is something you really should have grown out of. Stop ordering Jagerbombs at 5am. You have a dissertation meeting in the morning. Your mother and I are very disappointed in you.

Taking care of the house plants

You had so many great plans for these tiny plants. They'd be more than just an aesthetic tool to shuffle into contrived pictures for Instagram, you'd actually water them, learn what repotting is, and even save money by not having to buy herbs for cooking anymore!

But alas, it's too late, they are dead like your soul. RIP you will live on forever. Really can't believe this.

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Keeping them just in case they resurrect

Your future plans

This is a sensitive subject to many final year students, leaving the safe space university life has provided, shielding you from the real working world. Further study? Apprenticeship? Admit defeat and look for a job? Who knows.

Routine! Productivity! Efficiency!

Getting up at the crack of dawn, going straight from the gym to the library at 9am, doing extra seminar reading, keeping your plants alive, eating your couscous packed lunch and saving £2.50. But within a week, all you've managed is to crawl to your 1pm after a heavy night at Antwerp, sit shivering in the cafe in the Ali G eating a lumpy toastie that cost you more than you care to admit, telling yourself you'll walk up to the second floor and get some work done soon, and eventually, inevitably, go back to bed.

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Laughable, I know