I can hear the rain pitter-pattering against the roof of my flat.
I have been so, so incredibly sad this last week. It’s the end of my first year at university, and that day does not come too often. I feel like people on the Internet are sick by now of my penchant for tears and nostalgia and using the Internet for catharsis, but I have always been more articulate on the keyboard of a computer than I have out loud.
I was incredibly excited to come to university. I thought of it as my chance to re-invent myself. Did I need re-inventing nine months ago? I’m not too sure. But I feel that whatever I have re-invented, it is for the best. I have laughed and cried and coughed my way through my first year of hacking away at an English Literature degree, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am not going to lie; despite all the flack that English Literature students get, it is a difficult degree. You have to really, really love what you are studying. You have to be genuinely passionate about the Iliad, or Spenser’s Faerie Queene, or Foucault’s queer theory or Nabokov’s Lolita. And not just as texts – you have to tear the books apart and patch them back together cobbled with secondary criticism and formal sentence structure. By God, it is difficult. I applaud all my fellow English Lit-ers for surviving this year, but it’s only going to get harder from here. I am terrified and excited, as I think I am about everything by default at this point in my life, for my second year modules. From nineteenth-century English literature to texts written after 9/11, I’ll have to work my absolute hardest to understand and analyse.
Despite being ridiculously excited about my academic future, my mood is also tempered with a form of grief. I despise moving away from places with every single atom of my body. What can I say? I am a sentimental wreck, and I have made my room on Warwick’s campus my home for nine whole months. And it is my home, no one else’s. I have my posters up on the walls, and memories that linger like cobwebs in every corner. Leaving it forever for someone else to move into has been such an overwhelming experience, and I am not looking forward to this repeating again next year, and again the next. I will cherish my International House memories, and I am glad to know my soon-not-flatmates.
The friends I am saddest to leave, however, are mostly from my course. But it is not in my classes in which we bonded. Oh, people of the Internet still involved in academia, I feel that it should be a truth universally acknowledged that you gain so much more from being out of the classroom than in it. I have made such good friends this year as we have sipped hot chocolate together, stressed out over vaguely-worded assignments together, danced to cheesy music together… A few of us were crazy enough to attempt to create our own society, a feat that as of yet has not been confirmed to be successful. But watch this space. We’ll make it happen.
I’ve written for our university newspaper, the Boar, many times, and I’ve been published four times – three in the Lifestyle section, one in the Music section. I intend to keep it up. There is nothing like seeing your name in print, as a person who has always enjoyed writing – I have also contributed to a student-created online magazine called Cobalt, which again I intend to continue! I’ve also had the pleasure of hosting my own radio show, Cinema Christine on the university’s radio station, RaW 1251AM. For one hour at 10 AM every Wednesday, I geeked out harder than I ever had before talking about films with a plethora of fellow (admittedly mostly English Literature) students, and it was lovely to trade trivia and chuckles every week. Hopefully I’ll continue to further my student radio experience next year as well.
This post cannot be posted without my mentioning Warwick Glee, the main outlet for one of my other loves, singing. As performance team member for this academic year I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of this society and I love it to bits. There are talented, wonderful people in Warwick Glee, and if nothing else they are accepting of all – a trait, I think, that goes under-appreciated not only in other societies but in life itself. Glee has taught me a lot of things this year, and they are lessons I will take with me into my next year, especially in my new executive position as publicity officer for the poetry slamming society.
And, of course, I have gotten to know my big sister not only as my big sister but as a friend and a human being. She is an incredibly strong, brave and hard-working person, and with her job with the Beans Group I know her future is a bright one. I refuse to get too sentimental about her here, otherwise I’d never stop.
I don’t know what else to say. For someone usually ridiculously garrulous I feel muted here. How could I possibly try to take on the Herculean task of putting my entire first year and all the emotions and memories that have come with it into a silly little blog post?
Well, I’ve tried my best. And I will simply endeavour to continue that, too.
With a whole lot of love and a pinch of early nostalgia,