Last week, I turned 22. Or 21 plus 1. All depends on how you look at it! 22 seems to be the age you begin worrying about getting older. It starts with the ‘oh ho, I’m getting older!’ quips on Facebook events and the next thing you know, it’s nearing your 30th birthday and you’re suffering full-blown ‘I wish I was still 21’ fever.
This nostalgia for youth is easily applied to us final years. In a few weeks, I’ll be beginning my final term at Swansea University. That’s just ridiculous. As I said in my very first column, it feels like just yesterday I was moving into Preseli and now, here I am, dissertation handed in, final exams on the horizon and a graduation cap and gown away from ‘proper’ adulthood. I’m fully expecting the Fresher nostalgia to hit me full force in the next two months.
Everyone says your school years are ‘the best years of your life’, but I certainly wouldn’t say that. My school years were a time of awkwardness, bad fashion decisions and avoiding cliques like the plague. Some of my friends ascribe a fondness for school I never really got the hang of. I don’t really miss it in the slightest. There are school friends I wish I saw more often, but I know they’re only a phonecall or a Facebook away.
On the other hand, my past four years as a student have been the best years of my life, especially my year abroad and, despite the workload, my final year. So I can totally understand if many final year students are wishing they were Freshers again and not just because it was less work. When you’re a Fresher, everything is new and you have the rest of your university life ahead of you, graduation but a distant thought. For us final years, the end is in sight and I’m sure many of us don’t really want to let it go.
Saying that, I was an absolute idiot when I was eighteen. Sure, I was having the time of my life being an idiot, but I was an idiot nonetheless. It’s traditional to dread getting older, but I’d much rather be 22 than go back to being 18. Why would I want to go back to being an unmotivated pushover? I like my backbone thank-you-very-much.
So turning 22 hasn’t been so bad. There’s a distinct possibility I’ll be eating my words come graduation though. Feel free to mock me mercilessly in the event I end up dragged from Singleton kicking and screaming by campus security after attempting to break in to my old Preseli room. “I TAKE IT ALL BACK, I WANT TO BE EIGHTEEN AGAAAAIN!”
… but I’m too grown up for that, right?