Today is Easter Sunday, and I am gathering the last of my assignments together for the impending hand-ins that will sever me from university, forever.
Sort of forever, anyway. I am still figuring out my plans for next year, but with any luck I will be starting an MA in Creative Writing or Publishing in a few months time. It definitely won’t be at Winchester though. Like most of my friends before me, I am leaving my home-town, and I don’t know if I’ll ever live here again.
Am I sad that an era is ending? Yes, and no. Call me cheesy if you will, but I do believe that we live our lives in chapters – every one must have closure. If there was ever a time to dust the soil from my roots and plant myself elsewhere, this is it.
I’ve still got a long way to go before I can say I’m a successful, independent woman, but reflecting on my younger self, I see I have come a long way in the past three years.
One of my final assignments is a personal reflection, and writing it I realise that I came to university with a novel, and a bag of hopes and dreams, most of which I discarded along the way. I made friends, lost most of them, and got a ‘proper’ job. I met my first boyfriend, had my first break-up, and travelled in search of myself, only to realise that most answers can be found close to home. I discovered what I want from life, and mapped the road to get it. In short, I realised growing up takes experience, and that sometimes these experiences aren’t what you choose.
The summer is almost here. My last student summer, and the plan is work, work, work. Redraft the novel, rake in the cash from two jobs and save it. Come autumn, I’ll be going, packing the last three years into the luggage rack of my memory and stepping forth into the world. This is the end, but will I forget Winchester?
The morning sun makes shadows in West Hill Cemetery, and the frost retreats up towards the angel at the top fence. The aches fade away after a few weeks tackling the incline up to the top of Stanmore. When it rains, the old cobbles in the streets gleam gold by night, and sometimes the High Street is quiet enough to invite ghosts, including your own.
Of course I won’t.