All around campus boxes have appeared. I see more parents than ever and slowly, the campus is getting emptier. 9 Months of university have passed and it is time for everyone to move on. It is time for everyone to go home.
Somewhere around the beginning of April, I more or less started living in a different flat than my own. The people in the flat weren’t entirely unknown to me. I knew them through Vanessa, one of my closest friends at university. As I started to be around her flat more and it became less desirable for me to live in Penbryn due to noise (my official living address,) all her flatmates suggested I’d come live with them instead and I really wanted to (without leaving the people from my flat behind.) However, one of their flatmates had begun to become a romantic interest and I didn’t think it was a good idea to live in the same flat for that reason. Turns out it didn’t really matter because just a few weeks later, I ended up living with them anyway.
Their flat, Cwrt Mawr Block E, flat 23 was a flat made up of exchange students. In the second semester, 3 of them came from Germany, one from Austria, one from Denmark and one from America. In this flat, with these people, I gained another home, one that I dearly came to love. But as always, good times fly by and will soon come to an end. Because they are all exchange students, they all have to move back to their own country at the end of the academic year. I got so used to having everyone around that it was quite a change when the day came that Emma (from America) had to leave.
At first, Emma left for a few days to meet up with her family. After the few days she came back with them, and we had one final night together. Emma’s mum ordered pizza for everyone and treated us to ice cream for desert. We played ring of fire, the name game and a few of us went out for karaoke (not me, ha). For the very last night, Emma stayed over in flat 23.
Emma packed her last few things in the morning and then suddenly it was time to go. Tears welled up in our eyes. Everyone hugged her individually and spoke a few last words. Unable to let go just yet, we all came in for a group hug, no matter the 23 C, our sweaty shirts, and our sweaty smells. As a group, we walked down together to wave our final goodbyes. A few more jokes were made here and there and promises made of this not being our last goodbye. In front of the car outside, the individual hugs were repeated. Her mum took a final picture of our group where all of us have our hand on Emma’s head. (Yes, we are weird.) It is such a simple word, goodbye.
People always want to freeze these moments in place. We want to keep the best times of our lives and save them forever in the exact way that they were. This moment and all of the other moments that we had together are captured and frozen in pictures but the memory will live on. We will live on and even if things are to change, even now that things have inevitably changed, the connection and bond created will always be there.
As long as we have faith in each other there is no need to be sad. We will meet again and goodbyes are not forever goodbye’s. As long as we embrace change and remember the memories we can build on our future. It does not matter whether that is going to be in Europe or the US, over the internet or through a few occasional visits throughout out life.