How to: ace the vac

It's less about revision and more about cultivating a refined online presence

Flickr: travel oriented

A quick glance at social media would suggest that the vac is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride through a cornucopia of Instagramming, Snapchatting, Tweeting, and texting. If you haven’t spent the whole time inundating your followers with pictures of the beach you’re sitting on – the temperature and time of day included in a cute colourful graphic – who even are you?

Adjusting to being back home can be challenging for all of us, but fake it till you make it on social media and you’re already more than halfway there. After all, if others can’t see that you’re enjoying the vac, are you really? Isn’t it obvious that you’re having more fun than everyone else if you’re posting multiple times a day about your exploits? And might I add, you’re definitely having more fun if you’re posting with multiple people. Grab your friends or indeed the stranger next to you, and take a selfie with them. I mean who cares if you haven’t spoken to them in months (or haven’t even met them)? This is all about making your social calendar look as though it was comprehensively planned months in advance.

A golden rule for making proper use of the vac is that every visit to a café or art gallery must also be recorded for posterity. The whole world wants to see you drinking coffee from a jam jar – so give the people what they want. Be sure to post pics of every pumpkin spiced latte, served in a rustic mason jar, just in case anyone hadn’t realised you were visiting an edgy coffee shop in a trendy corner of East London. This is to conceal the fact you’ve actually spent most of the vac in your bedroom. Alone. In an irrelevant part of the South West of England, where the closest you’ve come to human contact is the local scarecrow. So much of Oxford is about keeping up appearances, and this is never truer than during the Vac.

Don’t forget that despite only ever venturing as far as East London, you’ll need to grit your teeth and smile as you tell your friends you went to Tenerife (with snapchat stories to support the claim). That is only for them to respond coolly by saying that they’d been to Elevenerife – how very expected, that others would be so effortlessly good at maintaining appearances.

It seems the general competitive vibe of Oxford life applies to the vacs as well. Therefore, you’ll also want to have at least 10 internships lined up over the vac. The beauty of internships and vacation schemes is that when I tell people I’m going for them, it gives the impression that I am actually prepared career-wise (spoiler: I’m not). It also has the simultaneous effect of making those you tell feel so completely demoralised.

Only for you to be able to reflate them by telling them how little vac work you’ve done in comparison to them, how unprepared for collections you are, and how they will of course inevitably ace those exams. This is, of course, a lie. Every spare hour, outside those spent sipping coffee, sunning yourself in Tenerife, or sweating over a Deloitte desk has doubtless been spent swatting for those exams. These people will inevitably end up deflated when you’re the one that aces those collections. Keep the pretences up, and not only will the likes come rolling in, but the grades too.

It is obvious that through the wonders of social media, it is completely possible to be seen to be enjoying the vac. This is despite the reality that you cannot wait for 0th week to arrive, and to be able to return to the library – where you can reuse the excuse that your tutor is a malevolent monster destined on destroying your social life. But, for now, don’t let this article tear you away from that mince pie you’re about to Instagram. I’d hate to be the one to disappoint your fans.

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