Essay hand-in day for Jen and friends
The Life of a Hectic Finalist
By Jen Grieves, Guest Contributor
Find out about the life of a third-year student at Loughborough University as she juggles a degree, the student magazine, the dance committee and a social life that "rivals Paris Hilton's"!
Loughborough University constantly places emphasises on the 'experience'.
"Get Involved" is one mantra that springs to mind, essential gospel for every devout Loughborough student.
Two years ago, as a bright-eyed, slightly nervous (innocent) little fresher, I was overwhelmed by the plethora of choice thrust before my eyes in the whirlwind of socials, hangovers and fancy dress that was the first fortnight of my uni life.
Performing at the Students' Union
With sports facilities to match Sydney 2000, plus a whole host of clubs and societies to choose from (from chess to pole dancing don'tcha know), I was completely overawed by this mad world that I had entered where I really could do anything I wanted to.
And so what did I do with my first year? Nothing. I had ten hours of lectures for my English degree, plus the occasional bit of hall-spirited fun, but I did not do a whole lot else. Except, inevitably, gain a few pounds.
The current state of play
Now, entering my final year (argh), the story is somewhat different.
After spending the first year sat twiddling my thumbs, thinking about what I should have done, I pledged to make sure I did not waste the final two years wishing I'd got out there a bit more and experienced all that Loughborough has to offer.
Jen and the other Label sub-eds
The current state of play is thus: I work about 14 hours a week in the student shop, am Secretary of the dance club committee and take five classes a week in different dance styles.
I am Features Editor and now also Deputy Editor of the student magazine, Label.
On top of this, I have become a complete Loughborough socialite and seem to have fashioned an in-built inability to turn down a night out.
Oh, and the small matter of a degree which, this year, happens to include a 10,000 word dissertation. The word, ladies and gentleman, is HECTIC.
"Are you mad?!", is usually the response I get when I divulge my whirlwind existence to friends and family.
Hollyoaks and hangovers
My housemates, for one, seem quite content with the first year outlook that consists of Neighbours, Hollyoaks and the occasional drunken night out. Exciting.
One of Jen's many dance classes
They can't comprehend why I need to get out of bed at 8am as opposed to 2pm, or why I'm happy to be designing in the Label office until 4am despite the fact that I'm working at 9am the next morning (yes, this actually happens).
I could sit here and moan about how I never have a spare moment, how I'm so run down, how I sometimes just want a night in Godammit, but the truth is, I only do all of the above because I absolutely 100% love each and every one.
Dashing from lecture to meeting to dance class is just the way I roll.
Paris Hilton on a budget
The fact that I do so much is conducive to a social life to match Paris Hilton (although maybe not quite so extravagant - I do live on a student loan, after all).
A rare trip home to York
Plus chances are I don't have to walk too far on campus before I find someone to share the mammoth mission up to library with, which takes the focus off the military-style huffing and puffing that results from said climb.
All these different activities mean that no two nights out will ever be the same, because the Label team, it's safe to say, don't have the same interests as the Dance Club.
At times, I admit, it's not pretty, but the real the beauty of all this is that never again will I have the opportunity to be so indulgent in doing the work that I love.
Working hard, playing harder
I'm being greedy greedy greedy to be honest.
On the one hand, hopefully this time next year I will be getting paid to work on a magazine until 4am, but no doubt one day dance club will become Tiny-Tots club (although not for a good few years!), and the social-life fund will rather depressingly turn into a rent cheque.
There will be plenty of time to live my life via Hollyoaks when I can't afford to hit the town, but at least I can look back and know that I got off my derriere and made sure I had the time of my life at university.
Right, I'm off to a Dance Committee meeting, which conveniently happens to be in the local pub (nice).
I work hard and play much, much harder, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
last updated: 25/01/2008 at 14:43