I used to think that the time taken to write something was proportional to the number of people who might read it. When I wrote e-mails to 400 potential CompSoc members, I would agonise over the hundred words that invited them to whatever soirée we were hosting: at worst it could take an hour before I was happy to send them (heaven knows where I found time to get a degree). Now this little piece will probably be read by all of five people, but I started writing it seven days ago. (And, perhaps continuing the trend, I've still got a Draft e-mail that I started in November. If you think it doesn't begin with a self-deprecating rant about procrastination….)
To those five people (and let us call them Alice, Bob, Carol, Dave and Gary), it will come as little news that we have finished fourth year. I wanted to wait until after it was all over before writing this (Christ! What is it? A suicide note? Get on with you!), but the staggered finish of the exams, coupled with a dull, alcohol-induced haze that began on the 24th of May and perhaps still hasn't ended rather put paid to the idea. I thought about leaving it until Graduation, but by that time we'd have been finished for two months, and almost everyone will have buggered off into the real world.
So it was that other occasion on which one dresses up in a kilt against the advice of his mother—the Grad Ball—that started me off on this eulogy. And what a perfect night it was! In the glorious Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, we ate, drank, and… um… danced. I think everybody present would agree that Jules, Julie, Lynsey, David and Spoonie did an absolutely fantastic job of organising it—thanks guys!
It befits the tone of this post to remark that it's taken three paragraphs of spraff to reach the point: looking back on four years of University. Last year I got all soppy over the fact that I was going to be away from the place for four months, and all of that still applies, except we never did and probably never will hit the Ikon & Diva in Crawley. I made even more friends this year, and it was my friends in the class who made it so enjoyable. No matter whether it was first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or on a dull Saturday in the middle of the Easter vacation, I could be sure of finding a friendly face in the lab, and I'm going to miss that the most when I leave Glasgow. That and the many, many hours spent in Jim's on Pub Fridays. Gary sums up some of the best moments from his university life, and I am proud to have been party to many of them.
It would be remiss of me to forget that there was also the small matter of lectures, labs, coursework and exams. From the preceding, you might expect that these played a relatively small part in my uni experience. This could not be further from the truth. I came to university with high expectations—the final exam results came in last Thursday, and I think I fulfilled them. But it wouldn't have been possible, or half as enjoyable, without the excellent company!
I used to think that good and bad years alternated. Tracing back from third year uni (a good year), this worked all the way back to nursery school (a bad year; teacher told my parents I was mentally defective). Well, fourth year has not only been my favourite year at university, but also one of the best years of my life. Goes to show what I know….