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Wow! I have finally finished university! It’s so crazy to think because all of my life I have been waiting for this moment, and now it’s here. Melodramatic or what?! Four short years ago, I packed my bags and left home in search of the sights and sounds of Lancaster, and I must admit that I wasn’t expecting a lot, seeing as it is such a quiet little city. How wrong could I have been though?! Within hours of the parents leaving I was plunged into Fresher’s week madness. The atmosphere on my first night was just electric: hundreds of new students, all my age, all looking to meet new people and have fun. I settled in straight away. That night seems so long ago now though, and looking back on my four years, I am overwhelmed with emotion. Half of me is happy to be leaving, the other half is not so ready to be entering the big, bad (real) world.
I chose Lancaster because it is far enough from home to provide delicious independence from my family, but close enough that an hour-and-a-half drive would shoot me straight into my parents’ house to stock up on Mum-hugs, Dad-advice and bags full of food and clean washing. I looked forward to going to university because it would mean a chance to follow a course of study which really interested me. The bonus would of course be that when, in four years, I graduated from university, I would feel more than ready to enter the real world. Do I though?! I have come to realise that I have grown up at uni. I am a completely different person from the immature, wisdom-tooth-less 18-year-old who stumbled into Pendle College four years ago, nervous about meeting her roommates. I’m certainly not saying that after four years I know it all. In fact, I would guess that I know little to nothing about anything. It’s OK though, because all 21-year-olds are naïve. We’ve experienced a lot, but still not in the real-world sense; we have still been protected by the university umbrella. There’s nothing wrong with being naïve though, it’s part of the maturation process. At least now I can realise that, and can embrace it.
Everyone knows students are lazy, and if I was anything to go by, they’d be right. Lancaster is the lazy student’s haven, and I will certainly miss rolling out of bed in the morning and the lecture theatre being a mere 2 minute walk away. Everything is literally on your doorstep. What will I miss most though? This lazy lifestyle? My flatmates? The Sugarhouse? The drinking games? Having the time to do what ever I want? I’ll miss it all in fact. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, as I have been challenged both academically and emotionally. A year living, studying and working in Paris has been the highlight for me, and I miss those times already. The sense of having journeyed with my fellow students and friends is very strong. We have all loved, laughed and cried together on each and every challenging occasion. This journey is not over yet though…just this particular pathway has come to an end. Another one is before me and before all of us. Being at Lancaster has been a great experience, but I am now looking forward to the next step. We have to look back to look forward, and I shall look back with fond memories, and given the chance, I would do it all over again!