This is what a degree looks like:
Or rather, this is what three years of assignments looks like.
Today I went on a rampage, and sorted through my papers from university. It was a sleeves-rolled, slippers off, hands and knees kind of job. Halfway through, my collection of scraps, notes, worksheets and printouts looked like this:
Having now reduced it to one single volume, I feel fresh and clean and ready to file the past away. My official graduation isn’t until October, but I’m counting university as a thing behind me, and looking forward to what lies ahead.
I’m a firm believer of the notion that endings are beginnings, and whilst I am a bit sad to be leaving Winchester, I realise that the closure of this chapter is not altogether a bad thing.
I went to university expecting to ‘find’ myself, but all I really discovered about my own self is that I’m difficult to fathom. People told me my writing is good, and it’s true that I’ve come out stronger and more confident, but there was no epiphany. There was no feeling of ultimate change, and whilst I have grown and bettered myself, in my heart of hearts I know I am the same person.
I think I spent the last three years dreaming. Although I didn’t have as much fun as maybe one day I’ll wish, it’s as hazy as a drunken night. Reflecting, I look back on a swirling maelstrom of writing past midnight, pressing deadlines and laughter. There is so little definition that I think in another three years’ time I will have forgotten most of it.
Already I can feel the experience passing from memory. It is entering the mysterious realm of guiding feelings that determine my character, and which cannot be defined in anything but the vaguest terms.
I thought I would feel so old by now, but I still feel like the child I once was.
I threw away my notes. I cast my scrappy writing exercises aside. I threw everything but my final assignments across the floor, then piled all of it into a box, which I consigned to the bin.
Maybe one day I’ll wish I’d kept some of it, but I don’t think so.
There’s no point in keeping old notes unless you’re going to read them, and if I didn’t learn it then, I don’t think I’ll ever go searching for answers in words that I forgot. I’ve never been much of a one for looking back.
In France they say c’est la vie. And life goes on.