How to spot a final year student

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

We are the ones set up with a packed lunch and an air of despair in the library first thing on a Sunday morning, furiously tutting as you whisper/eat/breathe too loudly in the silent section. In order to avoid a long and dreary conversation about our research title and how it’s going to change the world as you know it, follow our handy guide on how to weed out the ageing 3rd years.

We’ll be the worst dressed

“I just don’t have time for this”

After the fourth day of reaching for the dry shampoo, we might consider washing our hair. Our clothing is loose enough to accommodate the eating of our feelings, but tight enough to help us hold our emotions together. For goodness sake, don’t even ask us if we want fries with that.

Don't look at me, I'm famous

We’ll be the best dressed

“I can’t think if I’m not properly dressed, getting ready is going to take at least two hours – it’s not even worth walking to the library before uni”

It makes us feel like we’ve got our lives together. Watch us in awe as we sashay by you in the library, then twist our ankles in our heeled boots. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get a degree when I’ve perfected my eyeliner flick to this level.

You can't even imagine what it's like to wear a tiara in the library

You can’t even imagine what it’s like to wear a tiara in the library

We’ll patronise the freshers

“They’re like twelve”

I hear myself saying these things and I hate that I’ve become this person. “The freshers seem so young this year” – no, we’ve just been aged by three years of student budgeting and a sense of impending doom. Somehow, putting others down makes us feel better, who knew eh? Soon we’ll be talking about the price of Freddos back in our first year.

"you are using up valuable study space playing club penguin"

“you are using up valuable study space playing club penguin”

We won’t go out for weeks then we’ll go off on a bender

“Sorry, can’t come out tonight – full day at the library tomorrow”

Call it pent up frustration, but after yonks of fobbing off friends, you’ll head out for “just a couple of drinks, got loads to do tomorrow”. Lies. The taste of freedom will be too good, and alcohol will be your escapism. It’s a slippery slope of shame and vomit, but just go with it.

I hate myself

I hate myself

We cook elaborate meals

“Anyone fancy chicken stuffed with feta, aubergine, caviar, ostrich egg and the souls of those with remaining hope?”

Genuinely, send us obscure recipes and we’ll try it just to pretend we’re adults with our lives together.


We go back and forth with our emotions

Sometimes, when I get downstairs and the kitchen is a mess, I cry. Then other times, my supervisor looks me dead in the eyes and tells me there’s a flaw in my research and I feel nothing.

Avoid us at all costs, you never know what reaction you might get.