I’ll never forget when I first heard of the ‘Third Week Slump’. Three weeks into second year, I caught eyes with my friend. You could see the bags under her eyes from the opposite end of the Bancroft corridor. Solemnly, she shook her head. “The Third Week Slump” she said… and then I realised. I realised why I had been feeling so bad; I realised why I was so burned out and stressed. The Third Week Slump.
The Third Week Slump is a mysterious beast. It creeps up on you when you least expect it. First week lulls you into a false sense of security, ‘introductions to modules’, otherwise known as ‘sit and don’t listen for two hours’ and gently soothe your crippling fresher’s week hangover. Second week reading turns out to be a breeze, four books in a week? No problem, you say smugly. You began to wonder how you ever found university overwhelming, how you were ever stressed…
Suddenly it hits you.
Deadlines start creeping closer and closer to you. You begin to wake up in the night, trying to remember what exactly it is you’re supposed to have read for tomorrow morning. Student finance is starting to wear thin. You keep forgetting to ring your mum who is already pestering you about going home for reading week. Reading week? That’s ages away you think… or is it?
For me, the Third Week Slump has hit hard this year. After the longest, hottest summer, it’s like university isn’t even real at this point. I should be walking around in short-shorts drinking an Aperol, not trapped in the library shivering into a soya latte. I feel like I need to crawl into bed and watch Netflix for the next 4-6 months, but I just don’t have the the time. In all honesty, it’s been so overwhelming, and I feel many of my friends are feeling the same.
Normally week three sends me into a total state of panic; however, during this year’s Third Week Slump, I realised something ground-breaking… university is actually not the most important thing in the world.
With the celebration of World Mental Health Day this week, the world has been reminded that personal wellbeing should always be our priority. There is so much pressure in London and beyond to always be working hard for success. So many bloggers, vloggers and other ‘influencers’ incessantly promote the idea of working hard or ‘grinding’. Sometimes, I don’t want to ‘rise and grind’ and sometimes it’s not healthy for me to do so. It’s okay to take an evening, a day, or even a whole weekend off to rest and recharge. There seems to be so much negativity attached to simply taking time to rest. I want to remind myself and others that there is no shame in relaxation.
So for this annual Third Week Slump I am giving myself permission to do just that… slump. I’m slumping on my sofa with a cup of tea, I’m slumping into my bed to have a 3pm nap, and I’m slumping into my friend’s kitchen to spend time with those I love. Remember that your health and wellbeing is important. Remember that you deserve to take some quiet space to rest and reflect. So, slump into a onesie and open a packet of digestives, we deserve it.