bite editorial: Don’t Panic!

It’s the third week of Term 1 and I am already missing my mother’s home-cooked meals. I am a standard self-confessed lazy student cook and regularly get meal envy in my house of six girls. One of my housemates has a penchants for prawns, another has managed to find readymade curry sauces that actually smell like they might be spicy, one understands the important of covering everything with cheese and the fifth does wonders with seasoning. We won’t talk about my other housemate because she called kale “delicious” the other day and gets excited about quinoa.

Or maybe we should talk about her. Our nation is clearly in a state of panic; suddenly everyone is either gluten-intolerant, lactose-intolerant or allergic to red meat and we’ve apparently lost the ability to process solid food, requiring us to now liquefy all our meals into submission with a Nutribullet (apparently not the name of the newest vibrator on the high-street). I do find myself complaining about people’s weird eating habits a bit too regularly than I should, though. Who really cares if someone wants to fool themselves into believing that a “green smoothie” will give their body the vitality it deserves and is something worth spending £5 on? If that is what you really want, you must absolutely stand in the queue at the food stall I’m not interested in, freeing up space in the queue for me at Nando’s.

There really is a distinct trend of panic in the air at the moment, so palpable you can almost see it. As well as the general population worrying about the murderous qualities of white bread, we students have begun to receive our various deadline dates, driving us to frantic diary page-turning as we realise there aren’t enough months in semester one. All my essay dates and meetings take up so much room on the pages that there is now very little room for activities.

As a fourth year, the biggest panic stimulator is the dreaded question, “so what do you want to do after uni?” Apparently “I DON’T FUCKING KNOW FUCK OFF” is an unacceptable answer and besides, even if I did know, I probably won’t want to tell you in case you immediately judge it as unrealistic/foolish/destined to result in bankruptcy. Someone recently told me that there are people on my course who have started applying for graduate schemes already, and I wish them all well as they comfortably burn in hell.

The worst thing about panic is that the word partners itself so well with reverse psychology – as soon as someone says “don’t panic” (I’m looking at you, dissertation lecturer), immediately cold sweats, doubts of ability and desperation ensue. So how do you avoid it? Currently, I have adopted the method of telling everyone that I believe, with complete assurance, that everything will be okay. I have told my friends this, my dissertation supervisor this and, most importantly, myself this. I am a dedicated believer of the ancient spiritual message, “fake it till you make it”. Unfortunately, I have faked it so well that I have managed to convince myself that I am not only on top of all my work, but the mythical work I have told myself I have done is both of good quality and almost finished, meaning I have yet to do, well, very much at all.

Despite panic being a prominent theme in many of our lives right now, the world is not all doom-and-gloom. There is something beautifully uniting about despair and, when things get a little too bleak, we know there will always be four full hours of happy waiting for us in The Plug on a Friday.

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