Monthly Archives: June 2016

Grateful Goodbyes


How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. A.A.Milne

As second year draws to a close, there have been some incredible memories and some difficult goodbyes so, to make it a little easier, here is my sign off to second year as told by Winnie the Pooh.

You can never quite prepare yourself to say goodbye to people you love because the more time you spend with them, the closer you get, the same is true of university. Second year it seems is very different from first year in many ways, not least because you’re living in a house or actually working towards your degree. It seems everything means more. Work means more, decisions mean more and friends most definitely mean more. I now go out with people I actually really want to spend time with instead of anyone and everyone. Last year I said every week that I wouldn’t go out that week and somehow still ended up on the bus or in the club, this year, I said every week that I would go out and somehow ended up in my pyjamas with a brew. You can tell you’re a second year when a cup of tea means more than a night out or when they make your spot in the library a silent study space and you’re okay with it. Last year, at church, I skipped the queue to get squash and chocolate cookies, now I wait in line for a cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit.

We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. 

I’ve found friends that are there to celebrate all the good times, even when it feels like there isn’t much to celebrate. Recently my friends decided to celebrate my birthday about two months early as a joke. After about fifty messages and about the time the barbershop choir broke into Happy Birthday in the pub, I decided to just embrace it and I can honestly say, it’s the best fake birthday I’ve ever had.

It’s more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” 

There have also been multiple celebrations for the end of exams which is one good thing about everyone finishing at different times – the summer comes early and the party never stops. These last few weeks have been filled with picnics in the park, dinner with friends, summer balls and all kinds of end of term revelries. But I’ve also found friends that are still there when life is less than a party. Even if it means coming home from a lecture to find you asleep in their bed or missing a deadline for a spontaneous long walk. People who know when something isn’t quite right but don’t ask complicated questions like ‘how are you?’ or ‘what’s wrong?’ but more exactly the right questions like ‘cup of tea?’ I’ve also found people that care enough about me to introduce me to tea and for that I will be forever grateful.

Some people care too much, I think it’s called love.

These are the people that make it difficult to say goodbye. Particularly those that will not be returning next year. Even to the point of a desperate Hollywood style run across an airport to say goodbye only to see the last train pull away from the platform as I got there. Am I okay with finishing my second year and saying goodbye? Well, I’m on my fourth cup of tea and I’m eating peanut butter out the jar. Tears have been shed multiple times so far but only because I am lucky enough to know people that make saying goodbye so hard.I have noticed that, like Piglet, even though I have a very small heart, it can hold a rather large amount of gratitude.

People say doing nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day. 

Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. 

I feel this one particularly sums up my university experience because although I’m rarely left bored, little of what I do I would call ‘investing in my future’. It appears most of my friends are leaving early to make far too sensible decisions and do something beneficial with their lives and because of that I am very happy for them. I on the other hand….. People ask me what my plans are for the future and I can usually say what I’m having for lunch but when they ask me more long term I panic because I usually haven’t thought about dinner yet.

One advantage of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

I have, however, tried to be a little more spontaneous these last few weeks. This has included surprise parties, flying home for a day to surprise my family, an unintentional day trip to the beach when I fell asleep on the train and woke up in Blackpool including a trip to Pleasure beach and Blackpool tower,  and making an impulse decision to go to Bethlehem in the summer. I may not be entirely in control of my life, but where’s the fun in being orderly? As Winnie the Pooh knows….

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. 

So here’s to the friends that have got it all sorted out, to the friends that are ‘on a different journey’, to the friends that know exactly what to say, and the friends that always have a cup of tea on standby. Here’s to the friends I’ve sat in a&e with, the friends that would drive me an hour at six o’clock in the morning, the friends I accidentally invite over for dinner and the friends that get me questioned by the police. To the friends that dance with me in the kitchen, the friends that aren’t afraid to cry and the friends that make you laugh so hard you have belly ache for two days after. Saying goodbye is hard but you’d be missing out if it wasn’t. 🙂