Sometimes, it can feel like it’s all go go go with little idea of where we’re actually going. Like we’re plowing full steam ahead with little real direction and there comes a point (or many points) in life when it’s ‘about time’. It’s about time you properly started your dissertation. It’s about time you stop hitting delete on every careers email before reading it. It’s about time you realise you’re at university to do a degree. It’s about time you stop eating peanut butter from the jar and go and do something with your life. I could go on.
As I final year university student, I have had to come to terms with saying goodbye to some truly treasured things in my life recently and quite frankly, emails, posters and articles entitled ‘Hello future!’ do little to rectify this. So, as a small tribute to what has passed, here are my top three, lest we forget.
A cozy cafe. Now sadly, this is one I actually rarely got round to visiting as much as I would have liked which makes it all the more traumatic now it’s gone. This particular cafe was called the Novel Cafe. As a literature student, I appreciated this very much. It was a cute and cozy little place in the centre of town with second hand books to borrow and exchange, full of people just reading, chatting and drinking tea. It was also the first cafe I went to on first visiting the town before coming to university deciding (optimistically) that I would go here all the time to read before immediately losing said cafe on arrival at university. To my excitement I then rediscovered it last year only to find that this year, it has closed down. It will forever be somewhere I wish I had visited more.
A pub. As a student, everyone has their go to favourite pub. For us, this was a small quirky little place with live jazz music, drunk locals and a table of questionable free food. Many times we would be sat upstairs on the brightly coloured, slightly threadbare and hazardously wonky armchairs until late into the night with an odd collection of old books and instruments hidden behind and under sofas. There were often tipsy locals singing in the corner and there was rarely a time we went and didn’t ourselves break into song, often with whoever was in the pub at the time with some kind of unspecified string instrument but there’s no denying it had character. At the end of its life, we all went for a final night of fun before the bell rang and it closed for the last time and we all walked down the street singing loudly to commemorate the good times.
Finally, and I’m sure many will join me in the mourning of this one, the Bake Off. I know there will be some smart people out there who say it hasn’t really gone, but let’s be honest, we have lost the pure, unadulterated innocence of the Great British Bake Off. I’ve seen some of the things on channel 4 and the beauty of Bake Off has no place fraternizing with the likes of that. It has taken a long time to come to terms with it but they do say all good things must come to and end. I’m still not convinced and don’t even get me started on Len leaving Strictly Come Dancing. What will our dreary autumn terms be like without the dream team of Mary Berry and Len Goodman?
There are times to say goodbye but there are also many times to say hello to new things. I have recently come to the conclusion that I probably do too much and still regularly forget I have a degree to do, so naturally in the spirit of saying hello to new things, I’ve decided to learn how to jive. I may have to spin round 8 times so quickly that I fall over but sometimes you have to ask yourself ‘why not?’
It’s about time I started thinking about things but I’m not going to give up the things I love to do so, or start applying for things just because they’re what everyone else is doing. I went to a Halloween party this year where everyone was adorned with latex scars and gory masks, I wasn’t a big fan of the whole scary theme so I went as Where’s Wally and sang Disney songs late into the night; it’s about making every opportunity your own.
Every day another friend comes up to me with a big career offer they’ve landed but I went on a weekend away last week and was reminded we have a future so much greater than that. One that no matter how much changes at the end of this year, will remain the same. We also went on a mountain walk in the Cumbrian countryside. It was completely covered in full thick snow and yet the skies behind were blue and the sun was shining. Someone said to me it was sad how now people just don’t appreciate the beauty of these things because I’m really not sure I have ever seen a view so beautiful and just like all those Romantic poets I realised how insignificant all our plans are in the grand scheme of things. No matter how much you looked on the view, there really was no way of taking it all in or capturing the awesomeness of it all. We had snowball fights, slid down the hill and wrote our names in the snow. That night we stayed up telling each other stories and laughing constantly until we cried. And once again, it’s the simple things, the things that are quite simply out of our control that often bring the most joy and it’s about time I started appreciating that 🙂