|Image by ittybittiesforyou, flickr.com
Three years feels like six months, and it’s possibly the quickest journey you’ll ever take. There is a field within psychology known as time perception, and a theory which suggests that people who live with a present perspective do not significantly believe that the actions which they take during this time will affect their lives in the future. All students carry this mentality to some extent during their university lives, but reflect on the experience with the knowledge that every choice led to some lesson to be valued in the future.
We can all sum up the lessons we learned quickly, the quicker ones such as; all my washing can go on quick wash, ironing can be avoided at all times unless for work purposes, Primark pyjamas can last for years and hot water bottles are the only way to avoid high heating bills. There are also the more crucial lessons we all faced during our time as undergraduates, and the thicker skin we all developed along the way.
There are things I miss, the annual Starbucks Red Cup day trip I took with my housemate, and the budgeted Christmas shopping trips in a rain soaked Swansea on a November afternoon – although I don’t miss the walk back home in wet fluffy socks trapped inside my boots. There are also things I don’t miss, such as the pesky heating system in the library which always failed me as I was usually huddled over my netbook and shivering through my dissertation research.
If I could do it all over again…I wouldn’t, because the imperfections were what made it the experience it was for me and what makes it the most valuable experience you’ll ever have. Roll with the punches, and follow the yellow brick road all the way to Graduation Day- you deserve the reward at the end.
Another reason we graduates would rather not relive the experience is that we learned enough the first time around. We worked hard for what we finally accomplished, and we loved our student houses when they fell apart and we loved our friends even when we wanted to strangle each other. Reliving the experience would mean going back and we all know the adult thing to do now is to move forward, no matter how tempting it is to slip into old habits. There’s no place like university but like they say, ‘there’s no time like the present’, we have to start living it as the grieving process of leaving our old lives behind has finally come to an end.
I’d ask the Wizard for an unlimited supply of coffees and an extended overdraft, the staples of graduate life. Those essential parts of a human being that the lion, the scarecrow, and the tin man yearned for, I have those things and it’s thanks to the people who became a pivotal part of my undergraduate life, and more than anything it’s thanks to me. The only thing I don’t have is a glittering pair of red shoes, and don’t think I haven’t desperately tried to find them.