I’ve got a thing for analogies.
Not only do I use them to prove a point or to make situations clearer for myself and to others, but I sometimes find myself going specifically out of my way to try and draw a comparison between two completely unrelated things. Call it an elitist tick. The last of these came to me and it was as sudden as it was flawless – a year at University is pretty much like being pregnant.
You’ve got your standard nine(-ish) months of random cravings which keep escalating into a couple of painful pangs right around the end, and if you’re lucky enough, you get to cradle an adorable little “A” by the end of it all. Sure, one of the two can get excruciatingly worse at times, and the comparison isn’t a totally fair one – we all know how much harder it is to wake up for 8am lectures on a wintery Monday, so point taken. The two do end up getting shockingly similar at times though; no matter how many people around you try to comfort you and tell you that others have been through this before and that you’re going to be just fine, you somehow feel like no one can really understand all that you’ve had to go through, and the trials and tribulations of staying up all night, unable to sleep, staring up at the ceiling with a strange, random and painful pang in your stomach.
So, what does one write to comfort the hundreds of proverbial pregnant post-teens reading this? I could whip up a couple of comforting clichés, something on the lines of a light at the end of a dark tunnel, or a pretty little rainbow after a hailstorm. However, knowing me (and I do pride myself on you know, knowing myself), I’d much rather go for the “buck up and face the music you sad excuse for a student” technique. We’re all in this together – see it as one huge Prenatal Class. Which begs the question – is your chosen thesis supervisor you midwife? I’ll just leave that here.
I think I might actually be able to milk this analogy a little further (props to you if you got that last pun by the way, I swear it was initially unintentional). Everyone knows – or at least they should – that pregnancy isn’t just about those last couple of weeks. Every part of those nine long months build up to that one moment, but they’ve all had their own important role to play. We hear of pregnant women listening to Beethoven to inspire a more creative and artistic spawn…which might explain why I study better with classical music in the background (although I might be pushing it too far with that one). And don’t forget that anxious anticipation right at the end of it all, where you’re still not sure whether it’s all gone smoothly or whether you’ve sadly just wasted nine months of your life.
I feel like I should stop here. This might end up spiralling into the politically incorrect even as far as my standards go. But work with me on this one. And even more importantly, work with yourselves. Take care of that baby, nourish it, and come June, when you’re sitting down in that heat, looking at that piece of paper, panting regularly, remember to slowly breathe in and out, push all the information you know onto the paper, and hope for the best.
I’ll be seeing you all once we all get knocked up again at the end of summer x
This article was first published in the May edition of The Insiter. Grab your copy from the designated pick up points.