I don’t like my degree anymore. I’m not talking about your average, run-of-the-mill, can’t motivate myself to go to the library type thing — I simply can’t see why I’m at the university anymore. I used to find the challenging parts fun and genuinely loved learning, but I feel like I’ve completely run out of steam… I can’t help but feel like this is all a big waste of my time, and I’d be better off going to find a job somewhere or going travelling for a little while.
If it’s any consolation, I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people have reached that point in the semester where motivation is LOW. Spring might be on the way, but it’s still cold, dark, and deadline season for many. With that being said, by the sounds of it you’re feeling more burnt out than most. You know the drill, Fiona, as ever you’ve got two options.
First up, cut your losses and drop out. If you’ve been feeling this way for quite a while, something is going to have to shift pretty quickly for you to change your mind. Unfortunately, the longer you’re here, your degree will get more challenging, more demanding, and probably more draining. University is supposed to be somewhat enjoyable, and taking the brute force approach of pushing on through for the next however many years isn’t going to make things any better.
The problem is, the grass is always greener. Sure, popping off to Thailand / Vietnam / South America to obnoxiously ‘discover’ yourself for a few months might sound like a great idea when you’re stuck in a small town on the east coast of Scotland, but you might feel differently when all your friends are still here. And, Fiona, to be honest with you, once you’re stuck in a 9-5 it’s pretty likely you’ll be yearning for the days when popping to Pret three times a day and ‘going to the library’ (rewarding yourself for ten minutes of hard work with a well-earned cigarette) was an acceptable way to spend your time.
The better option and I hate to say it, is to stick it out. When you’re spending all your time in the library crafting the perfect essay it’s hard to remember, but often what makes our time at university so valuable isn’t the degree. It’s stumbling out of the Vic with someone else’s vomit on your trainers, hungover boozy brunches at Mitchells’, and relentlessly slagging off 601 before promptly turning up to Sinners everytime. Okay, okay, maybe there’s a bit more to it than drinking, but hopefully you get the gist. It’s the extra-curriculars, shall we say, that make all the difference. Why else do you think the Rugby boys make it their only personality trait? And Fiona, if there was one thing we could all take from 2008’s seminal masterpiece, Wild Child, it’s that “people can learn to get used to rotting pig’s vomit if they live with it long enough”. Pig’s vomit, 601 - comme ci comme ça.
All my love,
Illustration: Kate Lau