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A miserable Third Year Playlist

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There are a lot of people who love going to university. It’s a great place to meet new friends, have a lot of fun, and try new things - all whilst learning at the same time. Who cares whether it costs £3,000, £9,000 or even more - these are the best years of your life. Most people have an awesome time at uni, and one that they’ll never forget. Good for them.

Miserbale musicActually, screw them. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an awful time at university. I’m living far away from my original home, which is clearly better than this foul place, and the friends I made in secondary school were also of a higher calibre than the ones available here. My accommodation is a rank hole, I eat worse than a 17th century sailor, and the people here speak with accents which surprise and offend my ears. I’m in my third year, and I’m sick of lectures, I’m sick of nightclubs, I’m sick of unions, I’m sick of libraries, I’m sick of my friends, I’m sick of myself.

Frankly, I wouldn’t consider further study at the old £3,000 mark; I wouldn’t stay here if you paid me. I might kill myself, if I could work it into my budget.

As you might imagine, I’m quite pleased by the prospect of having my ties with this place severed in a few short months. For the first time since my parents left me in a room full of suitcases, I feel like I have cause for celebration. I’ve always assumed that most people feel this way about uni - and in case you do, I thought I’d share with you a special playlist I’ve developed for the occasion. It’s twelve songs, an album of emancipation, if you will. Please join me, in the comfort of your own iPod or on Spotify, in thanking the heavens that now, we are free.

Now We Are Free - Lisa Gerrard (Gladiator Soundtrack)

Being a student is a lot like being a gladiator, or it certainly feels that way. It’s reminiscent of slavery, but with more action, you’re forced to work with people you’d quite happily murder, and the housing conditions are very poor. If your university is near a wheat field, I would suggest that you make full use of it for atmospheric purposes.

Losing Streak - The Eels

You’re in control of very little in your life as a student, realistically. Who ends up on your course, who ends up in your flat, which uni you end up in when you’re forced to do clearing… You didn’t choose those things, and just look how they’ve worked out. It’s time to get back on the roll that you were on before this institution started draining off your spirit.

Mama I’m Coming Home - Ozzy Osbourne

Over your time at uni, you’ve probably learned that mother did know best all along. Vegetables did keep you nourished, it is wrong to fall in with a bad crowd, and if you pick it it will get worse. You’ve learned the error of your ways, and now it’s time to show mama the new you by returning home for an indefinite period. If she complains, tell her it’s her fault for being such a good parent.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door - Guns ‘n’ Roses

As a final year student, you’re right on the cusp of escaping to a new and better life - you’re knocking on heaven’s door. It only opens if you graduate though; if you fail, you stay here in hell. It’s also a sidelong glance at how uni drains all of your life force away, leaving you weak and delirious. I don’t know much about student mortality rates, but my blood pressure has increased year on year since I’ve arrived. I’m pretty sure my eyes would’ve exploded before I finished an MA.

Come Sail Away - Styx

To calm you down, a song about sailing away - one of the many things you’d probably rather be doing than student-ing. I am aware that there is a sailing society, but since all societies without exception suck all the fun out of whatever they focus on, it doesn’t count. It’s all about escapism: the key word here is ‘away’. As if I needed to tell you that.

Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Here’s somewhere you’d rather be than at university. The child-like simplicity of ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ reminds you of the innocence and naïveté that this wasteland has robbed you of. If you could get back to that happy place, all your fear and pain would disappear. But you have to serve your sentence in uni, a place which could only be more like Mordor if the library had an eye of Sauron.

Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy wouldn’t have stuck around at uni. No one tells them what to do.

Carry On my Wayward Son - Kansas

A little song to help you carry on through your day to day life, in these final months. It might also help to have a tick chart of days left ‘til graduation, or to start drinking heavily. I’ve heard tell that you can lose entire days if you get drunk enough, but it sounds too good to be true. I myself keep a chart on excel of days until I get to go home. I spend more time working on it than I do studying, and it looks super sweet.

Bad Days - The Flaming Lips

I don’t want to be unrealistic about how good my life will be when uni’s over, but I think it’s safe to assume that all my bad days will have ended by then. After all, if there is an allowance of bad days, I’ve certainly exceeded it by using them all up over the last three years. That’s how it works according to the Flaming Lips, and I’ve never known them to lie to me yet.

I’m on my Way- The Proclaimers

Just take it one day at a time. You’re on your way from misery to happiness- from the misery of acquiring qualifications, to the happiness of deceitfully augmenting them to potential employers. The misery has been three years- but the happiness will last a lifetime.

Man in Motion - John Parr

Bit of an odd song, this one- but then, the bar was pretty low in the 80s. In any case, Johnny Parr brings to your attention the joy of running away from your problems. It gets a lot of bad press, but if you’re fast enough then your problems will never catch up with you. Johnny needed a motorbike, apparently, so one can only guess at the hideous skeletons in his closet.

Don’t Carry it All - The Decemberists

The Decemberists say to let the yoke fall from your shoulders. I don’t know what you’ll be imagining for that, but there are many burdens associated with university life. The burden of financial independence, for example. Or the burden of diligent study. Even the process of lying about you personality to trick people into being friends with you is a burden, it’s just that after a while you become desensitized to it. Whatever your burdens, you’ll be able to drop that yoke soon.

So there it is: an album for you, for me, for anyone who has been through three years of hell. It proves that there are people out there in the music industry who understand our problems- problems which will all be solved when we graduate.

Remember, you’re not alone; everyone at university is miserable, it’s just that some people aren’t smart enough to realise it. Good luck reaching graduation; maybe I’ll catch you at an alumni dinner somewhere. Just kidding, I want to revisit these years like Jeff Goldblum wants to revisit Jurassic Park.

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