Congratulations On Arriving At Your Third Year Of University: Majoring In PANIC!

You know that part in a quest where the hero (or heroine or heroin if you’re watching a really weird movie were drugs are played by people, which may actually be related to the fakt that you’re watching a movie on drugs but whatever) has defeated a whole bunch of monsters, managed to identify the member of their questing team that is actually holding them back and banished them, suffered some serious physical and psychological trauma and has made it most of the way to the top of the mountain/cave/castle/skyscraper/church hierarchy but is still faced with one final, bowel loosening, knee trembling, nightmare fuelling, muscle tightening act/task before they’re actually done?

That’s me. I’m at that part.

I’ve navigated my way through two (technically three, but we don’t talk about what happened at Melbourne Uni) years of tertiary study and I have managed to, surprisingly, come out half okay. Yes my shoes are scuffed and that gaping wound on my chest is still healing up, but otherwise I have actually coped. As is the case with any great endeavour there are things that have sucked and seemed nearly insurmountable at the time, and look those deaths were probably avoidable but I’ve already defended my actions in the queue at Officeworks that day, however I’m still standing and no-one in an ominous suit has come to take me away just yet. I’m in front.  My quest is nearing its completion and the vultures circling overhead have stopped taking bets on how long I’ll last. I can almost taste the sweet nectar of success (I’m hoping it’s spaghetti related).

However there is still one final monstrosity standing between me and that ‘maybe spaghetti related success’. I have to actually finish these last two semesters. And, naturally, as you get closer to the end the chances of fucking up royally increase slightly, as do the odds of being swallowed by a giant squid in my sleep. So while I am standing at the crossroads of THE REST OF LIFE (FUCK), I can’t help but get oddly reflective. Like a mirror. Only if you hold up objects to my chest I won’t reflect them back at you. So not at all like mirror. More like a pensive elderly gentleman at the pier, staring wistfully at the horizon and thinking: How did I get here? Not even metaphorically…I have no idea where I am.

Instead my reflectivity focuses outwards and captures what is still to come. Like an internship. Like more assignments. Like more philosophy (seriously don’t understand how I managed to get conned into doing more philosophy, it’s like killing a series of giant spiders at the start of my quest, only to discover their babies halfway through and, after killing all of them, realising that the original batch of spiders have been reanimated by some dickhole of a wizard). And soon the reflection and introspection turns to outrospection and sheer, fuck-off terror. Yesterday it was Douglas Adams birthday, the man who first told me not to panic, so it’s only fitting that the day after sees me falling victim to the soul crushing, sphincter testing, malaise of a slow burn panic.

It’s the sort that starts in the soles of your shoes and works its way up your legs, constricting gently so as not to draw any attention to its black, wiry tentacles…at least not until you realise it’s grip tightening around your neck and a soft hissing laugh from somewhere in the shadows. Cutting away all the analogies and metaphors, I’m scared. But a little bit excited. It’s like Christmas…but there is a high chance that I will be receiving a punch to the face instead of new shoes (clearly I lied about cutting away analogies…).

The main food source for my dark, malicious jellyfish of panic is this internship. The worst part of it all is the resume writing, the cover letter creating and the CV generating. I’m basically standing out in front a crowd of people, naked, and they will in all likelihood reject me and crush my soul into a small discus to be flung into the sun. Something you may have learnt about me is that I don’t like going outside of my comfort zone. Why the hell would I want to leave a zone that actually has the word ‘comfort’ in it? It’s like turning down something called Delicious All-Your-Favourite-Foods-Taco. So what am I going to do about this? Well naturally my first instinct was to go with my tired and true method of procrastination…but I felt that would only help the jellyfish tighten its hold on my windpipe.

So instead I am going to the much more dangerous road of proactivity.

Yes it is terrifying.

Yes it will take me very, very far out of my comfort zone.

But I think it will be okay.

If not I can always go crazy, wear a Driza-Bone everywhere and pee in jars. My options are endless.

The group was silent, looking at the hero with intent in their gleaming, hopeful eyes. The horrors of the past lay behind them, especially that dickhole of a wizard who resurrected those spiders, and new horrors would face them if they forged ahead. They looked at their hero to tell them that even though it was going to get a lot worse before it got better, everything was going to be okay. He said something really inspirational, picked up his sword and began to make his way forward.

High above them a pair of vultures made lazy circles in the sky. One squawked to the other, “So what are the odds on him falling flat on his arse in the next ten days?”

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