By Barney Bolton
Welcome to university. You’re a grown-up now, kid. You’ve left the nest before school really taught you how to fly, and someone put spikes on the ground. There will be struggles ahead: money troubles when daddy doesn’t pay for a round at Jimmy’s, relationship issues when you realize how attractive your flatmate is, and issues with that one person you live with who doesn’t leave their room unless it is to make a communal space slightly less communal.
One area that you can keep on top of is time management, which can be dealt with using a precise timetable. Structure is something seen in the most interesting people and keeping to a strict routine means that you have proper self-control. Well done you.
To help new students, the university has asked former first years to draft a handy plan for how your time should be spent. It is as follows:
11am: Wake up. You might have missed a lecture or two, but you’ll need the beauty sleep to join that famous 70%. Back in the glory days of the pandemic, a student could roll out of bed, pop on their cleanest top and be straight into a lecture. No such luck for you lot I’m afraid, you will actually have to go to them this year. So, if there’s a lecture soon after you wake up, get to it promptly. The lectures in your first year will mostly be about sparking a passion for your subject, so best hope that you’re not doing something like law.
12:30: Lunch. If you are lucky enough to be self-catered, see what you can rustle up for 57p (I’ve heard toast sandwiches are in season.) If you have the misfortune of being catered, hold your nose, close your eyes and shovel down those much-needed nutrients. You can always get a takeaway later.
14:00: Sport. Those sports you were once so good at have come back to offer some much-needed respite from all those assignments you don’t have. Unless you are part of the university team – training five times a day to earn yourself some stash that you will wear relentlessly – the student leading your session will likely be hungover and unnecessarily mean. So, head on down to Maiden Castle and give 50% effort to a sport you once loved.
16:00: Work. Settle down to some work. It is time to read that thing you didn’t read in summer or do that thing you were supposed to do yesterday or whatever. Who cares? First-year doesn’t count anyway.
16:07: Loitering. Work was exhausting and has certainly given you something to complain about later. You are likely to be stressed out. Relaxation is vital for a clear mind, and you’ve certainly earned it. Stand around a bit and listen for noises before popping your head out of your room like a meerkat.
18:00: Prepare. Now that you’re all loitered out, it’s time to move to action. Make plans with people you don’t know that well in the hope that you won’t hate them in a week. Set up a vague idea of leaving college and get ready.
20:00: Out on The Town. You’ve lost half of the people you were supposed to be going out with to other plans, but you go out anyway. What a night it is going to be.
23:00: Return. It was not a good night. Charlie kept crying and Tom is a racist. Back to college for you.
23:30: Bedtime. So, what if it’s not all you hoped for? You’re not at the end yet and it’s a Tuesday night. Get some kip, more of the same tomorrow.
Image: Thomas Tomlinson