The best time of my life

Foto Reyer Boxem

The best time of my life

By Niall Torris
11 February om 9:55 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 11 February 2020
om 10:02 uur.
February 11 at 9:55 AM.
Last modified on February 11, 2020
at 10:02 AM.

I think I must be doing something wrong, or maybe someone has been lying to me. According to a lot of people university is supposed to be the best years of my life. Now call me crazy, but exams every six or seven weeks, numerous articles to read and enough essays to publish my own (shoddy) journal just don’t seem like good material for a lifetime highlight reel.

Now, I’m no stranger to a few beers and I’ve definitely been spotted leaving Warhol well after sunrise a few times. But there’s always a lecture or some assessment to leave me with a pain in my head and a whole pile of lost hours from my life instead of a night out. What’s worse is that when it comes to college work even a few cans of Guinness and a big breakfast won’t solve the problem (and believe me, I’ve tried).

In psychology we have the ‘positivity effect’. In a nutshell it says that older people tend to remember more positive information associated with memories. So, on average, the further we get from the time a memory is made, the more we focus on the positive elements of it. Which explains why my dad thinks coming to RUG to sit in the library all week typing, reading and figuring out a scientific calculator is actually a laugh riot.

What’s worse is that when it comes to college work even a few cans of Guinness and a big breakfast won’t solve the problem

It’s probably important to mention that the same research shows that younger people tend to focus more on negative information when using memory. I know that seems like a really important piece of information, but it’s really not.

I fail to see what positive information I’m supposed to focus on about trying (and failing) to study yet another statistical method. All any of that has taught me is how to calculate the probability of me passing the module. Trust me, the outlook is not good.

But I’ll spare a thought for my future self. Maybe one day I’ll be telling my own kids and their friends that college is going to be the best years of their life. But then I’ll remember this piece and ruin it for them all… or maybe I’ll look back and see look how well I did despite all the negativity… or I’ll just remember how much I enjoy writing.

Who knows? For now, all I can say is it looks pretty negative to me. Give it time.