In response to the question quite crudely created by the addition of a question mark at the end of some seasonally appropriate butchered song lyrics: well, no, not really. Let me explain.
I have had one deadline this term. One. Let that just sink in for a moment. Not only that, I have taken modules which only last one term, therefore the assessment for these modules would be at the end of this term, right? Wrong. Not quite anyway. You see, the funny thing about postgraduate study is that if it wasn’t for the research methodologies mini assignment that’s worth practically nothing (we’re talking maybe 1% here) I wouldn’t have any way of knowing how I was doing until I handed in my first essays… next year. Well, technically, 13th January to be precise.
Now, this has meant that the chaos that is Week 10 of Michaelmas term largely passed me by this year. It’s been like a rush of fond, distant memories of Michaelmases past, as I sat in my cosy chair in the Learning Zone and watched as people proceeded to leave presentation note printing and essay printing until 10 minutes before a departmental deadline. Such fun! Because that’s definitely how you want to spend your last Friday before going home for Christmas – in a state of emotional flux and panic that is dependent on whether you’ve remembered to top up your printer budget or if the Macs in the Learning Zone feel like working today or not. And yes, you can calculate the likelihood of technology working based on how close it is to your deadline – there is a negative correlation.
And, as I watched this flurry of panic and the increase of people walking around campus dragging suitcases behind them, I realised one very key thing: I wasn’t excited for the end of term or for Christmas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to going home and seeing people I like. But it’s just that the sense of occasion has been taken away due to the fact that practically everything this year has been different from the last 3 years.
- I have not had a ‘flat Christmas Day’ with the people I am living with. Therefore I have not had to somehow organise how the hell to cook a chicken, roast carrots, roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, and yorkshire puddings in one tiny oven. I have, likewise, not put up a Christmas tree with said flatmates (I did put one up at work though and I think it was the most vital thing I might have ever done for Student Based Services). I have not participated in a Secret Santa and therefore had to trawl through The Works hoping for a moment of brilliance. Likewise, this means my gift-buying for friends and family hasn’t happened yet – I am a terrible person, I will try to remedy this next week, I love you all.
- My room is not in any way Christmas-y because, like the idiot I am, I forgot to bring Christmas decorations to university with me. I made paper snowflakes to stick up but got bored after making 4 because it took me and my mum an hour sat on Skype to remember how to make them actually look snowflake shaped rather than just like a square with slightly wonky edges.
- I will not be going home until Christmas Eve. Yeah, so it turns out, this is what being an adult means. It means that you will be put on a rota to work up until 23rd December. And yes, that rota will start up again, as the university does, on the 5th January. No month-long Christmas holiday for you, Emma, no, those days are over!
- I have not had essays to frantically finish, seminars to contemplate skipping (I went to every single one, thankyouverymuch), presentations to give… none of that. I mean, I do have 2 x 5,000 essays to do. And they are expected to be very thought-out. And I am meant to have sent a vague essay proposal to both module tutors already probably maybe – they didn’t specify what they counted as ‘the end of term’ so… But despite all this, it all seems so far away. It’s not, I know this, I know I do need to write 10,000 words in the next month but it’s really hard to force myself to come to terms with this when I could be marathoning Gilmore Girls instead. You understand, I’m sure.
So yeah, I’m not sure… it doesn’t really feel like the term just ended, or indeed that I’ve been chugging along for the past 10 weeks. I say this, I’m sure once I actually both to venture outside of my building I will quickly realise that the end-of-term mass exodus has occurred. That’s always fun, I wonder if I might actually get a seat AND a nearby plug socket in the library if I go there tomorrow morning, living the life of luxury on a Sunday morning. I am so cool.