A video showed up in my Facebook notifications from nearly four years ago, back when I was in first year at university. Even though I’m only in touch with two out of the eight or nine people in that 30 second video, I miss a lot about that year.
It was a difficult year, though, with an awful lot of wasted effort and hard work on relationships, romantic or otherwise, that turned into nothing. It was a year that taught me about people, and how to deal with different personalities, whether they clashed with mine or not. That year taught me how to love someone and how to deal with their absence and the way they crushed out relationships. It also taught me that not everyone is truthful and that people are quite capable of being hurtful without too much of a conscience to hold them back.
What I miss, however, is spending time with different people every day, not knowing who would rock up that evening or who you’d be staying up late with, sharing secrets and chatting about anything and everything. I miss the ridiculous fancy dress outfits and (in a weird way) the drama that surrounded daily life. It’s an interesting psychological challenge to try to suss people out.
I miss going to lectures and learning new things, I miss going to different people’s houses/flats for dinner and I miss going out at least twice a week to let down my hair and party with whoever I was friends with at the time.
I’m an entirely different person to who I was in first year, in 2011/12. Anybody that I knew then, you probably don’t know me now and there’s a chance that we would get on now after we’ve all changed through the last three to four years. Many times, I think about reaching out to those I lost touch with, but then remember it’s probably not worth it. This time in four years I will likely miss the peace of living with friends and the freedom of not having a proper career. Who knows where I’ll be, or even who I’ll be.
So for anybody just starting out at university in their first year, treasure it. You might find it hard, you might find your best friends, you might even find yourself, but take lots of pictures and make lots of memories. Just enjoy the feelings of knowing anyone in the world can impact on your life at this very moment.