Monday, 12 June 2017

The End of an Era: Post University Blues

To my lovely readers,

It's breaking my heart having to write this, but I have now come to the end of my time as an undergraduate student at Royal Holloway, the place I have happily come to call home. I hate to admit it but as I write this I am fighting back the tears because more than anything I don't ever want to say goodbye to this place. It is my home and the people here are my family. We have lived, loved and laughed together more than I could have ever imagined. I was terrified when I was driving up here from home, scared out of my mind that the place I was going to have to stay for the next 3 years would be horrible and would make me want to count down the days till I could go home.

How wrong I was.

And I'm so pleased I was wrong. This place and these people have provided me with the best 3 years of my life. So far. And I'm going to say so far because I can only hope that the future years are going to be just as good.

While leaving is painful, thinking about the future is just as hard. I can't imagine waking up without my best friend just the other side of my bedroom wall, and honestly, I don't know how I am going to do it.

My options for life now are terrifying me because whatever I choose to do it will still be a massive change. I could go to Paris and do my masters there as has been the plan up until last week (I've done more U-turns on that than Teresa May!) or I could move to London and find a job, or stay here and accept my masters' place. Yet, even if I take the easy option and stay here everything will have changed. I won't be living in the same house with the same people anymore. I won't have the pleasure of walking through Egham or onto campus and knowing at least 50% of the people there. I will know what I'm doing, I will still have my job, I will still have the security of feeling comfortable, safe and at home for another year, even if I am without some of the people which make this place home. But then I will have this problem all over again next year and have the same feeling of being totally and utterly lost. I'm aware having these amazing options open to me is very much a 'first world problem' moment but it doesn't make it any easier.

In a way, I want to just go to London and get a job because it is simple. While finding that job will be challenging, and setting up in a new place, finding new people to make it home will be near on impossible, London is so close to everyone and everything that make me me at the moment so it feels like it would be a step forward from leaving RoHo but not such a giant leap as moving to Paris.

But then Paris. Honestly, I don't know why I want to go, except not going would feel like a massive failure. Admitting that maybe I can't do it is so hard because I've never liked to take the easy way out of anything. I want to be myself, I want to be that person who can just up and move to Paris and have the most amazing time that is beyond Instagram-worthy and is something that people talk about with wonder. But truthfully, I'm absolutely terrified. Terrified that I'm going to hate it, terrified that by going somewhere I know nothing about or no-one there that I will end up more alone that I have ever been, more isolated than I have ever been and more forgotten than I have ever been. Yet, the potential for going is so much greater too. I can finally be fluent in French like I have always wanted. I can get a masters, I can have lived in Paris and experience some of the greatest things it has to offer.

I feel like, with this, I am standing on the edge of a cliff and if I jump into the unknown that is Paris I may either find that there is actually a beautiful ocean at the bottom in which I can swim or jagged rocks that will hurt. Or I can take the sensible steps down to the bottom by getting a job, or I can just turn around and say 'I'll try again next year' and walk away by staying at RoHo.

I love my life here so much that I never want to have to give it up, but it is changing, everyone who makes it what it is are moving on and I have to push myself to make sure I am moving on with it, however much it hurts.

In some ways, I wish I had been more prepared for the Post-University Blues. I wish it is something that we are warned about. How hard it is to let go and move on from something that has been a big portion of your life as a student. I wish it is something that is more openly talked about, because the concept of separation anxiety from university and the people is a real thing, and it can be really scary, and as reassuring as it is to hear that you are not the only one feeling it and that it is something that everyone experiences at one time or another, it still doesn't make it go away. The only way to combat it, that I've found, anyway, is to stay busy. But in the downtime the time when you have nothing to do but think about how much you are going to miss everything and how you don't want it to change, well then what do you do?

I know this is all a bit heavy for a post considering that I haven't written much in a while however it is something that is playing a big part in my life right now.

I have two weeks left in this house until I have to leave. Elliott just left for the week (to be back at the weekend) and I'm already upset so what the fuck am I going to do when we both actually have to move out for proper. I'm going to be a mess. I can't walk past his empty bedroom without the prick of tears at the moment, and that's not helping anybody right now.

Lots of Love to you all, and to my fellow third years who may be feeling only a fraction of what I'm feeling right now, it's scary but it's going to be okay, at least that is what we must believe at the moment.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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