Thursday, 3 May 2012

if darkness blinds you

There are lots of different types of people (hello, huge understatement!), and a lot of the time I think we are all guilty of thinking that whenever we need somebody, the "right person" isn't there. With myself, this (sort-of) accusation is often exaggerated by the fact that as of right now, I am acutely aware of how different things are going to be very soon.

I remember what it was like, leaving school and "being set free". You leave school and there is a sense of expectation so great and so exciting. It doesn't just lift the atmosphere, it picks it up and twirls it round in the air, shrieking excitedly at what is about to happen. There "hype" surrounding such a day is immense - you don't quite remember what it was like to leave primary school (although I do remember arriving home and realising that I'd miss one of the dinnerladies more than anybody else - hey, I never said I was normal...) yet you can't picture a last day of anything quite as spectacular as this. Shirts are signed, special assemblies are perfected and performed, ancient photographs are unearthed and you are alive with the knowledge that this is it, you're growing up.

On my last day of school, my form tutor walked myself and a few of our friendship group out of the building. The back-story behind our little group is huge, but we were a family by the time we were walking through school for what felt like the last time - forever - and although we were sad to leave behind the memories and the special moments we so frequently shared, our tutor was there, setting us free.

"They" say that there is no summer quite like the one when you leave school. The bubble wrap that protected you for every moment for five whole years has, unfortuantely, burst now, but in that child-like way of not caring, the disappointment is outweighed by the sheer delight of "being grown up".

But, here's where it gets complicated.

You're not grown up at all really, are you?

And, as I sit here writing, I cast my mind back over the past two years of college life, and I realise now that I've learnt one huge lesson.

For a start, I think it would be wise to add a little disclaimer that I have hated college, and I'm not going to pretend that I haven't. I've struggled, I've contributed to everything and felt that I wasn't getting anywhere with anything, and I spent a whole year having what I can only describe as a nervous breakdown. Why? Well, there are many reasons, but one of the most significant factors that links everything together is that college is very different to school in one key area: the replacement bubble wrap they provide isn't very comfortable, it doesn't seem to work.

If the inspiration I felt upon leaving school and realising that "now is the time to decide what to do with my life, how exciting" is a candle, the incessant rain that is college life has most definitely put an abrupt end to that enchanting flame.

Over the past two years, a phrase I have used often is "there are words I could use to describe this place, but I'm too polite", and it's true, so I'll use these words instead: you don't need the "right people", you need to learn from the right lessons. And who better to teach you lessons than your teachers?

This summer is going to be another huge change. I'll be staying at home, thankfully, but even though I haven't liked college, I frequently find myself worrying about how I will cope with the sudden disappearance of the support network I have come to rely on. And, this is the part of my life where I find myself desperately searching for something, anything, that I can remember in years to come. 

The lesson I've learnt? Perserve and accept nothing less than the best, because even though the struggle may be lengthy and tough to endure, your rewards will be far richer than you could wish for.  

And, to You - I know you won't read this (and if you do, I'll be intrigued as to how you find it), but thank you. You have taught me more than you will ever know about so many things.

SOTD is Josh Groban's "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up). Fitting.



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