And so, dear readers, time has passed, and once again a cycle begins. Some are sucked into it, some choose to step there and many more simply ignore it. We are, of course, referring to the Pandora’s Box we call trimester three. Full of boundless power, unspeakable horrors and a decent amount of confusion when telling someone who studies at a different university about it. Whether or not the good is worth the bad is completely up to you. We know this paper is circulating tips, opinions and everything else under the sun about it, so we will follow suit and fill you with useful information. Not about trimester three, mind, but about the people who choose to do it. It can fast-track your degree, or let you play catch-up, but we get overworked just by thinking about another undisclosed number of months of study. Some people work just as well from home perhaps, work just as well not hearing what we need from old, as the Germans would say, ‘stuck-in-the-mist’ lecturers and choosing to read it instead. But many of us need to have someone standing there telling us what is written in front of us so we can write it, presumably, in front of us. The real grey area is when we find those who do not know which category they fit into. These are people who have simply never tried to learn on their own, and many discover that they cannot. Some of you, we are sure, are scoffing at this like a binary visionist watching someone with strabismus up the whazoo who cannot grasp what they can, but it is the truth. Procrastination is a forced tool known by all, not possible for some and much more difficult to use when in public.

But enough about whether or not we can do trimester three, let us instead talk about those who actually go through with it, firstly splitting them into three groups; those who wish to complete their degree faster, those who could not do all the subjects they wanted due to timetabling issues or those who simply failed something in the past and must make up for lost time now.

We only know of one person who is fast-tracking their studies by completing units externally in these few months, and we decided to approach him about it. As we got close he spotted us and waved, which we responded to by turning right around twice before deciding that, at this point, the least socially awkward decision would be to walk away. So, unfortunately, that path did not bear fruit. Instead we simply imagined what he would say, a method which turned out much more useful and ended with a list of reasons for his shameful behaviour, along with us giving the imaginary him our imaginary phone number. Granted, some liberties were taken, like assuming we both had a phone, but in the end we found that the three biggest reasons people fast-track are wanting to get into the paid workforce faster, feeling that if you stop now you will not be able to start again and just wanting to get this ‘study’ business out of the way as quickly as possible. The first is most common in people in tertiary subjects, like law, the second is more seen in recent high school leavers, specifically those who did not take a gap year, and the last being mainly attributed to students in primary subjects, like agriculture. Ignoring the fact that all this came from a single, non-existent student, people doing trimester three for these reasons seem to be the more studious of the lot, willing to study all year long for an earlier chance to grab the light at the end.

Now some people just want to do so much studying that it is almost impossible to fit it all in. For these Philosophy students time is meaningless, so they spend it all thinking about Kierkegaard’s spheres of human existence and thus have no reason not to study during trimester three. They do not necessarily want to do trimester three, mind, and will unceasingly argue with the timetabling office about it. However, even they cannot win against those masters of persuasion, and will eventually think about it for a while before deciding that they don’t have anything better to do, so why not.

Then there are those valiant few who have not yet given up though they have every right to do so. Yes, the Repeaters. Oh, what we would give to be one of their ranks. They soldier on to help those in direst need; themselves. Some of you, dear readers, may wonder where they went wrong, but in our eyes that is almost heresy. A Repeater can never go wrong, for everything they do is just and right, and is never without cause. They are the wisest among us, and know things we cannot even dream of. That is an absolute truth, one that will not waver or fail; for we know the pinnacles of our university society, the Repeaters, would never allow it.

Actually, scratch that. We may have been talking about something different altogether. Forget we said anything. Anyway, students who have failed something in the past and are doing it again externally certainly deserve our respect for continuing their study and we urge them to keep going. In the end they will reach that same light we all will, albeit with a bit more struggle. We must look at the bright side of these things, though. More time at university teaches you more about independence, budgeting and a multitude of other real life lessons. And, most importantly, it allows you to grow as a person. Besides, it could be worse. At least you’re not studying Philosophy.


Until next time, Hoi Sin

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