So, break down might be too strong of a word. But these are my thoughts about the emotions I have felt post-uni.
If you know me, or have read some of my posts before, you know I have recently finished my first year of university. Year one of Journalism passed with a first!
I was dealing really well for the first month post-uni. I had a lot of contact with my friends, my boyfriend and I was keeping myself busy, life was good. But, there was a niggle in the back of my mind that wondered why I had not cried, why I had not even felt a mourning for my first year of uni?
Cause who can leave their first home away from home, have their friends and boyfriend move hours away from them and not cry? A monster that is who. But however much I tried to convince myself that I was a bad person for not crying, it just didn’t stick. I felt strangely fine.
Now this is not the usual reaction for me. Even when I left my village’s primary school, I felt the urge to return weekly to see my teachers. And I do not do well with long distance relationships, I’m a touchy person, so this should have been hard for me.
Of course, I am a reasonable person, and I know that I shall be returning for two more years of university and that this experience is not over. But there should have been some pain, surely?
I was convinced that this was a negative. That my friends thought me unfeeling and that I had become numb to emotion. But soon, my perception changed and I was convinced that this was a wonderful thing. I was not sad, I had not cried and it is human nature to be happy for being, well, happy.
So just as I thought I had beaten it, that I had somehow managed to forego the post-uni breakdown, the night came. I had found a movie that my next door neighbour/best friend loved to watch. My family had never watched it, so I wanted to share it with them. I go to put on the movie, and it seems that they have other things to do. Now, in my flat and my building, we all had joint plans, most of the time and we did things together, like watch movies.
At the realisation that I was no longer in the atmosphere where I could have my friends on tap, if you will, it happened. I broke down. I screamed at my Father. I called him selfish for not wanting to do the thing that I had wanted us to do. In hindsight, it was me being selfish for wanting everyone to drop what they were doing for my movie.
I found myself in the shower, angry and shaking, and then it hit me. I wasn’t angry at my Dad or my Brother for not being available. I wasn’t really angry at all. I was sad, sad that I didn’t have my best friend and boyfriend next door. Sad that they were all hours away from me, sad that I could not just call them and have them with me before you could say “break down”. I was just sad, and lonely. So, in true cinematic style, I cried, in the shower, loudly.
The crying stopped, but the sadness didn’t so much. It hurt knowing that I was so many hours away from the people I had lived moments away from for so long. It hurt knowing that I wouldn’t see them for another month and then it would only be for a few days. I wanted to be back, at the beginning, when Uni was all ahead of me. And this was when the real downward spiral started.
The idea that a third of my university education is complete scares me. The time flew by so fast and I was I could grip it with my fingers and hold it for just another moment.
No one says it, but everyone knows that the first year of uni is the slacking year. I didn’t necessarily slack, but I know that in my second and third year, the workload will increase.
I’m scared the late nights out will finish, that I will have to get a job that makes Friday and Saturday nights unavailable to me. I fear that late night runs to McDonalds will finish and that I will lose the feeling of being young with no inhibitions.
I’m scared of the big wide world, of monthly rent and nine to five jobs and savings accounts and the future.
But, I have to remind myself that I am only 18 (nearly 19) years old. There are plenty more late nights and early morning Maccies runs set out for me. I can get a job a few nights during the week if I want to go out on the weekend and things will all be okay.
I will cook more at home and maybe skip a cheeky Nandos here and there. But that means I can save for big things I want. I am excited for comfy movie nights in. Laughing in the kitchen with my friends, because those things won’t stop.
I have always been a black and white kind of girl. Either I have everything, or I have nothing. I have all the fun, or I am miserable. But I have to remind myself that that is not the way that the world works. People do not just become miserable because things get serious and just because I work hard doesn’t mean I can’t have a big mac at four in the morning, if anything it means I deserve the big mac more.
And my friendships are strong. I didn’t cry leaving my friends, because I didn’t lose anything. I know that in September nothing will have changed because nothing has changed. Just because they don’t live a stone’s throw away, doesn’t mean I don’t love them.
Yes, I am still scared. I don’t ever think the fear of the future will go away. But I am reasonable. I know that I can have fun and work hard. I know that I can start saving here and there for things that I want. I am teaching myself that not everything is black and white, there is an in between, an in between that I can not wait for.
Second year, I am ready to see what crazy antics you have in store for me.