Widespread panic as ‘what are your summer plans?’ replaced with ‘what are you doing for the rest of your life?’

Final year students are feeling the heat.

Picture the scene: you’re at a garden party celebrating the end of exams, the end of uni. Surrounded by mates on a warm and sunny day – another heatwave (no thanks to global warming). Life is good.

An acquaintance, nay, friend, one that you haven’t seen since before exams approaches you. You chitter, you chatter, and then, with the corners of her mouth curved to form a coy smirk, she asks the dreaded question:

‘So what are your plans after uni then?’

Just like that, everything starts to spin, as if you’ve suddenly become very aware of the fact that earth is rotating around the sun at a staggering 18.5 miles/second. Nowhere to turn, no place to run, and no plans for the future. You stand face to face with the reality of your own mortality. Suffering, spluttering, stuttering; you’re being dragged closer into the mouth of the void.

Whirlpools of salty sweat swell on your forehead, dripping into your eye – damn that goddamned heatwave! Akin to a swan, you’re manically paddling but above water you must stay calm. Can’t let others thrive off your weakness, your lack of life plans, dreams, goals, aspirations…

It’s time to talk now or she’ll sense your fear. You open your mouth, take a deep breath and muster a pathetic:

‘Ah no plans really, think I’m just gonna chill!’.

Your predator, antagonist, rival smiles and nods in response. Did she pick up on your wavering composure? Is it possible that she’s relating to a similar existentialism from behind her reassuring grin? She says something about getting a refill and disappears.

You’re safe. For now.

Assaults like this are currently sweeping the country as for many, university draws to a close. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, maybe think about applying for a masters. Alternatively, travelling’s a good way of delaying real life for a bit longer.

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