The 5 Stages of Going Back to Uni

Second year kiddies. It’s the stage where people start inviting you to parties and you should probably bring something that isn’t the 2 for $6 Coke special from the 7-Eleven. Why? Because, we’re adults…(Seinfeld, The Dinner Party. Look it up).


So, being the adults that we are, I feel we should be maturely sharing the 5 stages of going back to uni (because, psychology)…

Disclaimer: There may or may not be no empirical psychological data to inform this post, and maturity may not be involved

1. Denial

This begins around November, at the end of exams, where one’s thinking is along these lines: “Oh. My. God. No more uni for four months, let’s drink like every night and go out now that we’re free!”. Or so I’ve been told, my “let’s drink” mindset lasted the afternoon after my final exam (traditional Red Room Bar post-exam celebration). The denial persists until about 2-3 weeks before uni, where one feels in a state of bliss at their relaxing, often money filled due to the availability to work full time, life. Then you wake up one morning and move to….

2. Panic

A stage characterised by the thought process: “Holy shit uni starts in a few weeks and I have to sign on, did I remember to plan my timetable? What if my classes changed? What if work thinks I can work full time constantly? Oh crap I have no money for textbooks because I spent it all on vodka…”

Action is required and suddenly you actually have to forward think and plan in a logical, strategic way. That part of the brain is tired, and still marinating in last night’s tequila shots. It’s been locked away by the part of the brain that likes pleasure, and fun, and partying till dawn because YOLO (but seriously, stop with the YOLO. Drinking until dawn is not YOLO. Why is YOLO even a thing..?). First years and non-uni people will not understand…do not engage. However this stage will not persist for too long and one moves calmly (kind of) into…


3. Wishful Planning

This is the part where you make organised, often colour-coded, lists and charts about classes and assessment. Because this is the year you are going to be organised. This year (and this works for the 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th etc etc) you’re going to get it right. No more partying and leaving things until the last minute like last year. Pfft, handing in assignments two minutes before the due date and risking the massive crashing of TurnItIn is for losers…duh. This year there’s going to be beautiful colour-coded charts that perfectly organise uni, work, social and gym requirements so that you in fact have the perfect life, much like that delightful chap on the Berocca commercial. Let’s see how long that lasts shall we? Especially as we move into the next stage…

4. Going Broke (Possibly Leading to Secondary Panic)

Textbooks, increasing rent, books, pens (dammit what happened to all those pens you bought last year?), food and other stuff. And you’re already kind of broke anyway from travelling or buying that fancy vodka in the skull (because it looked so cool so it had to be better than the $30 bottle). Suddenly desperation sets in as you decide whether eating or that physiology textbook are more important. Anyone who’s a tutor will start ranting about how lazy small children are for not wanting to receive tuition after just two days at school.


5. Acceptance

Like all processes, eventually one accepts that uni is starting again and it’s not going to suck that much. At least high school is over and you can stop trying to make your uniform more attractive…face it, that was never going to happen. And better yet, it’s second year and you can attempt to soothe the pain of people that made fun of your first-year blunders (blatant and obvious use of UQ Nav, asking where the UQ Centre is; it’s the big one) by perhaps doing the same…but you’re not as mean of course, because you’re nice or something. And the money will come back eventually while you throw your stats textbook across the room (it’s useless and cost $140, and you didn’t learn from last year that stats books are useless) and hug your biology textbook warmly, assuring it that you’ll never leave it again.

Have fun little academics, it’s one year closer to graduation. Unless you’re a PhD student…in which case enjoy the lab/library for a very long time you poor, intelligent person.

Peace, Love, Buffy

Dannielle x



2 Replies to “The 5 Stages of Going Back to Uni”

  1. You’re spot on with these! Although I may not be as spirited (please appreciate my witty use of this word in regards to alcohol), as you I mist definitely have numerous colour coded charts and such in my preparation for uni this year! Love your blog

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