For the last few months I have been doing all I can to deny the fact that university is coming to an end. Today, packing up the last of my room and walking around the empty house, it finally hit me. These last three years have passed by so quickly, but thinking back to everything that they’ve contained makes it seem like it was an absolute lifetime.
As dramatic as it sounds, I had a slideshow playing in my head of random snippets – that initial drive to Exeter, spotting other students on the motorway with piled up cars and wondering if they were going to the same place, figuring out which flat was mine and then looking out of the kitchen window as people pulled up, wondering which ones I’d be living with for the next year. You go loaded with fear and expectation, tingling anticipation of all the people that you’ll meet. You stalk them before you get there, and now the three years have gone, I know some of those people I discreetly fb stalked inside out, whilst others I never even spoke to in person.
You spend three years making a life for yourself in this new city, growing into yourself as some of those high school insecurities slip away, but all too soon you are reminded that the spaces you set up home in are temporary. Looking at the blank walls of my kitchen, and knowing that although it didn’t feel like it was ending, the six of us were never going to sit on those worn out leather sofas discussing dinner, the future or last night’s antics suddenly hit home.
But no matter how scary change is, that is what life is all about. You create these capsules in which you deposit experiences and memories and yes, people are transient, time sifts away some things that you thought would be around forever, but it replaces it with new opportunities that sit by side your old memories.
University is much more than the degree certificate you slave away for. It hurls you into an environment where the people around you have come from extremely different backgrounds, it tests your ability to remain strong in who it is you are whilst being open to all the new people you come into contact with.
Sitting in my childhood home surrounded by the suitcases I still have to unpack has a way of refracting time. Leaving anything behind is hard, and returning to an old place when you have changed can be an unsettling feeling. But it was time to leave the bubble that university places you inside. The real world is scary, especially without a student card to ease your woes with ASOS discounts, but it’s also what everything has been leading up to. It’s time to put into action all those off-hand remarks you made about what you wanted to be, what mark you wanted to leave on the world. Student life was good while it lasted though – Arena burger van, I’m yours forever.