During Easter break of my year at university, I was amazed. Everyone left Aberystwyth as soon as they could. It didn’t seem to matter if you had another class on Friday; everyone (or most people) definitely had to go home as soon and as fast as they could. In what seemed like just a few hours, the 15 residents of my corridor had been reduced to half that number and the ones left were either international or European students. The same thing happened for every reading week, and then every following vacation. It almost seemed to me as if no one enjoyed being in Aberystwyth. It seemed strange because I had been thinking that vacation meant I could finally get some peace while away from home, and have the free time to lie on the beach in the sun, etc. Why did everyone want to get away from their friends as soon as possible to see their family back home?
I guess it makes a little bit of sense to me now. Especially after a while, Aberystwyth becomes just a small town with nothing to do. It’s a great place when everyone is here because the people, partially, make the place. It didn’t really matter that people left during the holidays because they always return once term starts back up. But the thing is, this won’t be the case after graduation and it makes me wonder about what is going to happen to the life that I made here.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. For a lot of people, their life seems to have become life at university. This is where we have our friends, structure and daily activities. These constants will go and our friends are likely to spread out over the country, if not the world and there is no guarantee we will see each other again. This makes me wonder if your ‘happiness’ after university is dependant on the contacts you’ve kept from your ‘old life’ so that you don’t fall into a black hole?
I guess it depends of course, but a lot of people seem to move back home for a while after university. The right thing to do seems to either secure a job or continue your studies. Having something new and ‘exciting’ might keep you occupied enough and throw you into a new life with new contacts etc.
I’m not really scared. I probably have the advantage that I didn’t go to uni straight after secondary school. I already made the transition from losing friends to finding new lasting ones, and then I moved to the opposite of an easily accessible place, and they’re still my friends. So I guess that means I kept a lot of my ‘old life’ while exploring this ‘new life’. I do think my friendships from during university will remain, but I wonder what they’ll evolve into once we leave the place where it started. The more I think about it, the more university life becomes this strange concept to me. It will have likely been a rather intense three years of your life, in which you made friendships that you never had before. The place where you studied might have become your home, but this home could only ever last for three years. It’s strange, but then so is life.
In just a few weeks time, everything will change.