Welcome week is always an odd time. I’ve spent the last two years being the new person, once at Nottingham, and once when I went to Montreal for a semester. So for this year, I felt pretty qualified to be on the front line, figuring I knew exactly how everyone was feeling. I’m not actually that much older than the majority of them (2 years at the most) but there’s a definite difference between new and old. In the new there’s a sense of nerves, wonder, terror, and sleep deprivation which just doesn’t permeate the higher years as much. By the time you’re a masters or PHD student it’s basically just sleep deprivation as far as I can tell.
But watching all these people running about campus, I realised something. I feel old. Adult-old. Here’s a list why:
- Take Me Back (Or Not)– This was my first real brush with nostalgia. The Freshers wandered round like tipsy, startled gazelles, in huge packs because of strength in numbers. I walked by with my headphones in and desperately wanting to go to bed. When I saw them part of me felt the ‘Aww. I wish I was doing that all over again.’ However the majority of me wanted to pass out for 8 hours which probably tells you a lot.
- Back Ache– Maybe it’s my posture. Maybe it’s the rush of selling tickets on a table far too small for me. Maybe I have just reached that stage in my life where random aches and pains occur. Whatever it is, I wish it to stop, please and thank you.
- Rise and Shine- I spent most of the holiday getting up at 9am at the earliest, to which most of my friends gasped in surprised about how early I woke up. This week I was up at 7 every day, not an unusual occurrence for the adults of the world. It was awful but the morning shift was quiet and one of my friends was manning a stall in the Welcome Fair so she shared my pain. Now I cannot sleep in past 7:30 and although I see some pretty amazing morning sunrises, I am super tired. Ridiculous.
- To-Do– My To-Do list used to consist of meet friends in town, read that book, watch that tv show. Now it has items like fix boiler, search companies, organise meeting. There is not one frivolous thing on there. If someone looked in 100 years time they could be mistaken that I was an actual functional adult
- I‘ll Pencil You In– I nearly said this to a friend this week unironically. I can no longer simply send out a text and be out the house in ten minutes on the way to a friends. We all have stuff to do, places to go, tutors to convince we’re actually working. My diary has gone from something I would forget about after a week to a vital source of information and the one thing I can’t leave home without (there’s also a back-up in my phone). I have things written in for March and July next year. It’s a whole new level of organisation.
- CV– The only time this has come up before is the panic before writing my personal statement for university. Suddenly every relevant detail flew out my mind and I was left wondering if I had actually done anything at all for the past 7 years. This time it’s only 2 years that have passed but as I watch several people on Facebook flounder in the world of unemployment, it is starting to seem much more relevant to, you know, actually do something. Such is the glamorous life of a third year (and possibly the entirety of adulthood)
- I used the word reconnect unironically. I’ll see myself out.
None of these things may seem earth-shattering on their own but speed and force that the realisations hit me with was massive. There’s no real going back from this point and I don’t really want there to be. I’m happy in the hustle and bustle, the feeling that I’m helping, that I’m doing something important, and if I sometimes have to seem more grown up to do it then that’s fine.
Plus, the above makes it sound like I’m not having any fun and I am. I’m seeing friends, I’m yelling the lyrics to Year 3000 to encourage people to sign up to URN, I’m doing a silly-wonderful radio show, I’m writing and reading and accidently being so stupid my friends have to laugh. I’m finally approaching that word every lecturer, tutor, self-help blog and life coach have been saying. Balance. I’m working towards balance.
Of course that’s all going tits-up next week, but let’s not focus on that.
WISDOM OF THE DAY:
Adulthood is not as scary as it seems. Unless it’s chasing you with a cricket bat. Then you run.