Last week was a random post about coursework rant (*rant over*) and Star Trek.
This week is still just as random as the last.
Oh what I’d give for a break.
Just a tiny one.
A week? A weekend?
A couple of days in some tiny hotel in the middle of nowhere with mountains and rivers and quiet (wait … we did that … though it wasn’t relaxing because of the interview and the whole button … thing …)
A night away?
A day trip?
A couple of hours away from computer, internet, phone, bills, coursework, calendars, to-do-lists …
It’s that time of year where it’s just not quite winter, the idea of leaving the house after sun down has you reaching for your thick jumper and lo and behold, the bills are coming through the door and you’re aware that you can’t quite get into your favourite summery trousers. Spring has not yet sprung and is likely to simply slink on by. The weather will brighten around exams when you need to be indoors reading up on water legislation, multifunction decision analysis and finishing up that final bit of coursework. Perhaps one glorious day of summer on the final day. Perhaps another if we’re lucky around graduation.
If you can’t tell, I’m just dying for a break. A change of pace. A little less 100 mph and more 5 mph. Maybe more like 2 … or snails pace?
As real life rushes headlong, preparing to tip the unsuspecting student (not me of course) into the hustle and bustle of everyday working life, where a night on the booze up leading to a hangover the next day is frowned upon and turning up late to meetings is (hopefully) intolerable, it leads me to think back on time.
Where did it go?
In September it will be 4 years since I began my university education and will mark the end of a time where my year counting starts in this month. In high school terms that’s longer than the time it takes to do your GCSEs. It’s twice your A-levels. It’s just about the length of time it takes to decide what you want to do with your life.
It’s shorter than the time it takes to enter as a timid Year 7 to leave as an adult in Year 13.
Where did it go?
I can remember the times when I wished the year would hurry up and move along. I wanted to be out there, to do all the things I wanted to see or to laze those long summer days away with a good book and a picnic blanket. To bike my way around forest trails and leafy paths, to churn up mud and muck in my childish glee. To dream of castles and princesses. Those days when your garden is all the space you need.
Where did it go?
I don’t want to think about how many exams I’ve taken since stepping into my new form room in September 2003, holding a timetable that, for the first time, had classes which my friends were not going to attend. When holidays became revisions sessions and the usual topic of conversation wheeled around the latest and greatest and coursework or exams. Now my conversations have developed a more adult air like; careers, job market, wedding plans, holiday plans.
When did I grow up?
Was it the first time I left home and spent that first night alone in that student flat my parent’s had painstakingly decorated with posters and prints from home? Was it that time I had to search for my 2nd year flat and made decisions about rent and living space and where I wanted to be?
Was it the moment of organising the communal bills for that flat?
Was it the moment of paying for that first bill?
I always assumed that life would suddenly shift: one moment a child, the next a fully functioning adult with responsibilities and an understanding of the world. It didn’t quite happen that way.
The same way that “Home” became two places. Home and, well, Home. One’s the place I grew up, spent that time studying and passing exams and working hard to get here. To get home. This little 2 bedroom flat in the suburbs of my university town. Kitchen, bathroom, lounge. Back yard with a locked gate. Bins against the wall and bin days to remember and forget. TV without an aerial. DVD collection.
As I turn my gaze from coursework and university to the large blackness that is my future, I find myself thinking about the last time I reached this threshold. Then, the nothingness, the uncertainty scared me.
Now, I can’t wait to see what happens next.