Dear Fyse,

You’ve kept disturbing internal dialogues to a minimum of late, so we haven’t spoken in a while. I trust everything is well with you. Did you have a good summer? Hopefully all the theatrical exploits went to plan, and perhaps your earnings exceeded your expenditure. With any luck you’ve had an enjoyable and rejuvenating break, returning to Cambridge full of vim and vigour for a new year of study.

I wont ask how the summer reading went, and how much of your planned catch-up work was completed. I can guess the answer all to easily, and suspect I wouldn’t like it. I will say this however. Think back four months, and remember that exam term. Remember the stress, and the self-recrimination. Remember the fear and the sense of failure. Recall those coursework deadlines you scrambled to meet, and those exams for which you crammed desperately. Look back further to those wasted days, those weeks of idle lethargy. Remember most of all the realisation that you actually enjoy your subject when you finally put the effort in.

You got away with it last year. Again. Make this year different. A 2:2 may be enough to avoid awkward interviews with tutors, but now is your final chance to find out what you’re capable of. Do you want to look back on your university life and see underachievement? So do something about it. Cut out the idleness. Axe the sloth. Become one of those scarily dynamic people who spend every waking hour in fruitful activity. (What? It could happen!).

Yours in ever worshipful adoration,


PS If this open letter now seems ill-advised, make a mental note not to repeat such a gross self-indulgence.

PPS If this open letter spurs you on to academic success and eventual worldwide fame, be not selfish. Share this fantastic idea with others, forcibly if necessary.

PPPS Buy stamps.