Photo: Leo Reynolds
Photo: Leo Reynolds

By Josh Willcocks

Recently, I started re-watching Jonathan Creek as an adult, or some semblance of one at least. And, having overcome the initial disappointment of the programme not being half as scary, or good, as I remember – a sure reminder that nostalgia is a bouquet of lies – I started to view it for what it actually is: a poorly acted crime drama, but one that sets me a-pondering nonetheless, and not just about the shoddy jokes.

Among the 2 series of murder and intrigue that I have so far ploughed through, one episode in particular got me thinking about just how fleeting our time at university really is. I won’t recount the plot, needless to say Jonathan waited until the last five minutes to demolish the mystery with a bulldozer of logic and abstract thought.

In this episode there was a man with a phobia of time passing and consequently, his wife, who, wait for it…collected clocks, had to remove all their hands as to not aggravate her husband’s bizarre fear.

The premise of this phobia was somewhere along the lines of: ‘time is constantly ticking away, even now as we talk about it, etc. etc. blah blah blah death.’ I couldn’t fault his reasoning; he was correct to the best of my knowledge.

The realisation this prompted however was not nearly as philosophical – if what he said can be termed such. Rather, it consisted of me being astounded at how quickly my photography lecture had come round again and moreover, made me feel that maybe there is some credence to the saying ‘time goes by quicker the older you get.’

If you do the maths, 3 years at university comes to roughly 720 hours of teaching time, which is 20 weeks of working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, with an hour for lunch. One year of University could be achieved in 7 weeks of standard working days, but there is too much profit at stake for you not to be around longer (the relevance of this in relation to what I’m trying to say is hazy but it seems right to put it in perspective).

It won’t now be long before those of us in our final year are pushed out of our student tenements into the dole queue. What a thought! Yesterday feels like September and September felt like 2010, but it’s February of 2013 and dissertation and coursework deadlines loom like an infernal sword of Damocles. And, on top of the dizzying amount of work piled upon third year students in the last few months of university, there is the worry of life beyond here.

I’d like to think I’m not the only person who has no damn idea about what they’re going to do when the year ends. The best option seems to be moving out of the country until your student loan is written off and you can return (though god knows why you’d want to) with a clean slate.

By that time a thousand other students will have graduated with the same degree as you and you’ll be even further down the employability ladder than when you left. Probably best then to just settle for whatever drudgery you can get and let those dreams of being an artist or scientist or whatever, turn to dust at the back of your mind.

Lumbered with a massive loan to repay, a destroyed liver and probably chlamydia, let’s face it, it will only go downhill from here. Take one long last breath before the plunge. Stop to smell the roses. The end is nigh. Cliché, cliché, cliché. The days of uncontrolled hedonism are drawing to a close.

Right now you can do what you want, when you want; drink till dawn and bang between the sheets till your eyes pop; you’re restricted only by a few lessons each week, an overdraft and possibly dignity. Indulge! You’ll need a bank of fond memories to recall while you stare at a computer screen in the call centre you work at…Unless you plan to travel across East Asia after university, in which case life will pretty much continue as usual.