So there is about 3 weeks left until the autumn semester begins and no doubt countless numbers of you are waiting in a mix of anxiety and excitement until Freshers, or maybe I am just projecting. Either way, I cannot wait to get back to university. In some ways it is surprising given the prospect of my dissertation, doing my own washing again and balancing a host of different commitments for the next 9 months. Maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. Yet in the same breath, I cannot help but think that my excitement is also a consequence of the fact that, for better or worse, university has become my life.
Having been away studying in Korea for the whole of July, it was initially a relief to return to the sleepy little seaside town I call home and just do nothing for a while. Globe-trotting is all well and good but by the end of my time at Sogang my brain had reached saturation. I hate to admit it, but I had even began to feel a little homesick. On coming home, the first couple of weeks flew by quickly as I worked away in an Italian restaurant and wasted my afternoons watching the Discovery channel while concocting new ways to avoid doing my dissertation. But as the the honeymoon period subsided, I increasingly had to face up to the fact that there was nothing really left for me here.
In an effort to give myself something to do I tried to catch up with the friends I have left back home. Yet meeting up with them only made me realise how out of touch I’d become in university. While they talked about their jobs and gossiped about people expecting kids or where old classmates were now, I could not help feeling completely out of touch with the real world. Undeniably, this was in part my own fault for becoming so emerged in studying that I had burned most of the bridges outside of university through neglect. At the same time I couldn’t help think it was also because I’d move on while they had basically stayed the same.
Not even being back at home consoled me. One of the main reasons I went home was to see my family, who I’d neglected since Easter. But after the first few ‘welcome backs’ and questions about Korea, old routines of mutual existence began to settle in.My grandparents sat inside all day while my little brother has spent most of the summer doing his own thing, leaving me in the lurch with basically nothing to do. I hardly begrudge it, but it makes me sad to think how he’s grown so independent since I have been away. It’s a process that will no doubt be helped along when he goes to university this September and with it the need to travel here will diminish even further.
I could of course continue to witter on about how ‘bad’, or perhaps ‘uneventful’, my time back home has been, but that would be boring. Instead I’ll end by saying that this summer has made me realise that over the last two years university has ultimately has become my home in a way this small bungalow near the seaside never was. Though it is a tad ironic that this would come in my last year of university, it is perhaps the best incentive I could ask for to make the most of what could be my last year. If university has virtually become my life I may as well embrace it for what it is, home. In this vein, I would also say that despite all the anxiety you may feel now, university will inevitable become the centre of your lives for three year as well, so make the most of it. Now you’ve listened to be mope on, I want to know what you think. For any soon-to-be first years, what are you looking forward to most about university? As for current students, to what extent to you think university has altered your life? Feel free to left any responses or comments below.