About to plunge into my last week at Newcastle University, it’s safe to say the nostalgia has hit me all at once and I’m once again overcome with the all-consuming dread – what the hell am I going to do with my life? Where the hell has three years gone? Is this really goodbye?
Unlike your classic love affair, I was not infatuated from the off. This has been a slow burner, a gradual culmination of appreciation for everything this city offers: its transitional campus; its green spots amongst the grey; its surplus of culture wherever you look. Boy does this city have a lot to offer, and often it’s just a case of looking up.
Studying English Literature and Creative Writing has been the tipping point from a flirty affair into a full-blown romance. Not only has the Literature side exposed me to a whole host of writers I would never have come across myself, the theory has also enhanced my capabilities as a critical thinker. I find myself unable to watch a film, read a book or even leisurely peruse the pages of Vogue without my mind screaming ‘Hey, there’s something deeper going on in this discourse!’ now. My degree has made me more aware of social groups, history, politics – as well as enhancing my passion for writing.
Some of my finest accomplishments have come in third year and, in a way, I’m sad I didn’t act on my initiatives sooner. Joining the Courier as Lifestyle Editor has been so rewarding – our section can even boast winning section of the year – but more importantly, it’s developed my passion for Editing (as well as writing), motivated me to pursue my career goals (regardless of the long hours) and has introduced me to a whole host of young, inspiring journalists that I can’t wait to work alongside in the future.
That’s not to say University hasn’t had its tough points. Grieving a friend in Fresher’s week, struggling to settle in and forcing myself to leave the confines of my room when socialising was the last thing I wanted to do were difficult moments to contend with.
But these were the moments that taught me to find comfort in what makes me happy, as well as turning to others when all I needed was that reassuring hug that told me everything will be okay.
Of course, these are the friends that will lift you up when you’re having an off-day; they’re the friends who will remind you of your self-worth when an irrelevant boy makes a snide remark; they’re the friends who will become more than friends, they’ll become your family away from home. I’m lucky to say these are the people that have made me fall in love with Newcastle. So, to you my friends, I raise a toast for every Bridget Jones conundrum we’ve shared, every drunken takeaway we’ve devoured together and every tear we’ve shed together (through stress or laughter).
Newcastle, we’ve had a blast, and it seems as though I’m soft for you. It seems as though you’ve worked your magic on me and that I might just remain up here for a Journalism Masters.
That’s the problem, I’m just not ready to close the book on our love affair yet. Masters or no masters, then, I hope you’ll always welcome me home with your arms flung open, blueberry treble in hand, in an attempt to say: ‘Welcome home. It’s been too long.’