Friday, 22 April 2016

the belly of the beast, 22nd April 2016

ah yes, my first ever first day at university... after all I done it three time now...... but my first, that's going back a bit.... not way far into the days or yore but perhaps what some might call 'back in the day', a phrase which continues to baffle me as to be largely vague as it is meaningless....... anyway, that first day, a combination of anticipation, excitement, trepidation and downright fear...... not to mention loneliness, panic, and an urge to run away again before the end of the first day...... but I managed to keep all that in check.... there's also a weird desperation to find your niche in this sprawling, unfamiliar and intimidating ecosystem teeming with others all trying to do the same........

.... luckily a friend drove me up with all my stuff, I didn't drive at the time, and I found my halls of residence at the far northern end of the campus (virtually in arctic circle!), a five storey quad building of a 1960's architectural folly based on a swedish prison design apparently, how appropriate....... my room on the fifth floor looked into the quad and the huge central oak adorning it.... actually not bad I thought....... and no guard towers or razor wire!...... priority even then was, yes, cup of tea, I found the communal kitchen which was to be shared by 26 people (one on each corner of each floor, so four per floor)...... having supped tea, admired the view and waved off my lift it was a case of what now?....... 

.... I looked across to see a damsel in distress (sorry, my words, I know I know, corny and somewhat naff) struggling to open her window, something I had luckily already mastered in my own 'cell'..... without a thought I dashed to her rescue, introduced myself and offered assistance as a 'man who can' kind of thing (yes, also very naff, I know I know)...... phew! fortune smiles on me as I managed to open it, at one point panicking thinking it's not going to open!........ she thanked me, I bowed (actually I didn't, just sounded good for the story), I smiled and made myself scarce...... start as I mean to go on?..... my deed for the day....... I really worked hard at 'trying' and probably being more than trying too at times, to meet people, which believe me is something I hate doing, even back then..... I persevered, I was younger, (slightly) bolder, (slightly) less fearful.......... 

...... was not too bad a start considering my being crap at social interaction.... three more years lay ahead......... don't panic! don't panic!....... I didn't... actually inside I did, (anxiety is my middle name you know) but like I said, the folly of youth, blah blah and the first in my entire family, relations and all, to go to university... no pressure then...... I found an inner scream which hasn't left me ever since..... I waited to wake up...... I never did......

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