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April 30, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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VUWSA Vice-President Academic

Holy mother of Steven Joyce, it’s week seven. Those of you who have transcended past the floaty and tractable pastures of first year will understand thoroughly, by this point, what week seven entails for unprepared students.

Week seven is the weaker-spirited sobbing in toilet cubicles post-test. It is the procrastinator’s comeuppance. It is the superficial, hostel-borne relationships obliterated by stress. It is petty in-fighting in the flat about whose shit has blocked the toilet again. If you live at home, you might get in trouble with Mum for inadvertently neglecting to do the dishes or wash the windows (NB: people who flat don’t do either of these things).

In week seven, if you don’t have yourself sorted, everything begins to turn to shit. It is with considerable remorse that I remind you that the rotten word ‘studying’ is a malicious compounding of the sweet, spritely words ‘student’ and ‘dying’. Please understand: this is no coincidence.

Honestly, I grimace when I think that you’ve all chosen this for yourselves. You’re all sadomasochists with a common penchant for spending thousands of dollars on education. When you opted to stay in your course of study without withdrawing before the end of week two, it meant that the chunky course outline you were handed out in the first week became a binding, formal contract between yourself and the university. If it sounds like I’m bitching, it’s only because I’m soured through my experiences riding on the same metaphorical circus wheel.

Essentially, all of the assessment, academic policy, course content, and little niggly details became entrenched and unchangeable when you woke up still mournfully drunk in the Kelburn Park fountain on the third Monday morning of Trimester 1 (yes, all of you).

So if you’ve gone and caught yourself a bad case of week seven blues, I’m not about to stand beside you in false empathy. How’s this: pony up, suckers! You’re in this contract no matter how much you wallow on about it, so unless you want to lose your ~$750 investment per course, I suggest you stop reading this column and start doing some work.

While I can’t help you write your essay, I can help in other ways. We have all sorts available at VUWSA: if you have an individual academic grievance, or a complaint about something directly affecting your own study, you can have a chat to our independent advocate, Lorraine. She’s fantastic. Otherwise, if a lecturer pulls a surprise test change on a class, or if they change anything in the course outline, then you can set Fiona (our Education Organiser) and I on the job to patch things up.

www.vuwsa.org.nz

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