Graduate Blog

‘On Communal Television Viewing’


In our final year of university – amidst the early mornings, dissertation woes and worrying about what the future held – my housemates and I made a pact: every Wednesday the three of us would make a cup of Yorkshire Tea, dim the lights, snuggle up on the sofa and watch everyone’s prime-time favourite, ‘The Apprentice’. This may seem fairly simple, trivial even, yet (contrary to popular belief) the life of a student is rather a busy one; lectures, library dates, fancy dress socials, procrastination, all of which contribute to the chaos. You need to take time out to relax, be with people that you care about and watch Nick Hewer’s glorious eyebrows as they wither in dismay.

Similarly, in my second year of university the final series of the wonderfully intriguing US show ‘Lost’ hit our screens. Each Monday a group of perhaps twelve of us would watch with what we thought were eagle eyes, yet in reality they were often partially glazed by alcohol. We’d made it a “thing” you see, something that we could all enjoy together. A different scenario yet still precious. Numerous opinions cascaded throughout the room, gasps, screams, tears (mainly from me) and an overwhelming sense of camaraderie. The common, binding faction was that we all loved the show; it was something shared, and it afforded us a reason to all get together in one place, away from the stresses of essay writing.

In our final house my housemate and I were (are) obsessed with the beautifully crafted BBC masterpiece ‘Sherlock’, absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the delectable Benedict Cumberbatch occupies the primary role, and we made it our mission to coax our third housemate into loving it too. Hence, communal viewing. It suffices to say that she surrendered and we spent six splendid hours drooling and eating chocolate digestives. Final year is terribly busy so we revelled in the time that it provided the three of us together. We’d sit down, chat, watch the show intently, then chat some more, about the show, about our day, about anything at all. Absolute bliss.

These three scenarios exemplify the important point that I am making, detach yourself from work every now and again. University is, at times, an incredibly stressful personal endeavour; you need to remove yourself from that stress-filled bubble to remind yourself of the simple things in life. Watching TV with friends is so accessible and it offers a respite that is very often sorely needed. Remember to take some time out to be with other people because that time is sacred. Your friends are so important and a communal spirit is often a great tonic for stress.

Don’t feel guilty about shifting your focus from your studies for a few hours, feel liberated and enjoy the downtime. University is not wholly about studying, the social connections that you make will be extremely significant in your post-graduate life, cultivate them whilst you can. Picking up the remote requires minimal effort, yet it will ensure maximum social pleasures.

Besides, no-one can resist the curly-haired, trench coat and scarf wearing allure of the great Mr. Holmes…


About the Author

Sophie Greaves Sophie Greaves

Between the years 2008 and 2012 I read English Literature and American Studies at the University of Birmingham. Due to the nature of my course I spent one year studying abroad at the University of Wyoming, which was an amazing experience that gave me the confidence to live in another country on my own and the freedom to explore. Since then I have worked in the United States and the south of France, before moving back to the UK this year to pursue full-time employment. I currently work for The Clement James Centre, a charity in London that helps disadvantaged children explore alternative avenues into higher education. I truly believe that my time spent at university has enabled me to forge extremely positive social and professional relationships and I would urge any undergraduate to relish their time spent at university.In doing so, you will reap the rewards that post-graduate life has to offer.

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