As a child, I remember one of the many things that occupied my thoughts being about (what seemed to be) the distant future. I’d sit atop my bunk bed, probably playing with some gender stereotypical doll and wondering what I’d look like when I was all grown up. Perhaps I’ve always just been a little vain, but I recall studying my face in the mirror and trying to predict what I’d look like when I was a teenager. It’s funny, when you’re a kid you think everything’ll be like an episode of Lizzie McGuire as soon as you hit thirteen. Yet of course it’s not, you’re still just as immature and gawky as ever, and even worse, crimped hair and flared jeans have gone out of style (again). Looking at myself now I think I can finally see who I aspired to be all those years ago: A young and confident woman with a great set of friends, a sense of purpose and everything as in place as it can be at this stage.
One of the biggest clichés is that your school years are the best of your life, well I would disagree. My school years were what they should have been in many ways, but they were also far harder than I ever could have anticipated. Let me make clear, I’m not saying this to evoke any kind of ‘woe is me’ response, I’m just being honest. I expected it to be exciting and easy, and it wasn’t, kids are notoriously mean and I wanted to grow up quicker than I should have. (Yes, more clichés, sorry folks). The point is although they weren’t the years that older generations, media and TV shows had promised me, they were still something worth treasuring. Looking back, it’s funny how much I longed to be independent and have more responsibilities, yet now these are the things I dislike about adult(?)hood.
So many things have happened of late to lead to this inevitable reflection; Friends learning to drive, turning 18, finishing college and the big one – University applications. In a lot of ways, some may be surprised to hear, I’m a hugely sentimental person, so this has been an interesting time. We can all be held guilty of looking back on the past through rose tinted spectacles, but that’s not what I’m intending to do. I suppose these events have just caused me to take some time to look back, with some nostalgia, on all the things that have led me, and everyone else, to where we are now.
Only now, as my final exams are fast approaching, has it dawned on me the reality of my situation. Amongst all the craziness of applying for universities and revising for A-levels, it near slipped my mind that I’ll actually have to be going to this university and leaving home (!!!) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so oblivious that it didn’t occur to me. Naturally, on a superficial level I’m completely aware of what’s happening, but the actuality of leaving home is very different from the hypotheticals of it. Is hypotheticals even a word?
See, a huge part of me feels like I’m not ready for this step. After all, left alone for the week all I can usually muster up the effort to cook is nachos; That doesn’t scream responsible adult to me. I understand that going to university isn’t exactly the same as going out into the real world, everyone is in the same boat of flailing independence, but it’s a little worrisome, nevertheless.
My thoughts aren’t exactly as coherent as I’d like them to be at the moment, especially when translated to paper (or computer screen or whatever you’d like to call it), due to the copious amounts of philosophy and english literature engaging my brain right now, but I hope I managed to get my message across in someway. To summarise, this is a post for the people who’ve worked their butts off for the past however many years, who are undoubtedly filled with anticipation and tension at the moment, just like I am. What I mean to say is, there are great things coming and I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.