I think it would be unfair to say that I loved every second of university. In fact, the work was hard and at times boring and I found the city itself rather dull. But something I will say is that Exeter is what you make it. And what makes it, are the people. So, three years, thirty grand, 3000 bottles of gin, and many memories later, it’s all over. I’ve finally graduated.
It feels like a matter of days ago that I found myself in an empty room in halls, wondering what lay ahead of me. But in a flash, “Grad Week” was here and we were all saying goodbye for the last time. Although it was sad to be saying farewell, the fact that everyone was so sad to leave meant that we made the most of every single moment. Some by dancing until they passed out, some by drinking until they chundered outside the club the night before their graduation and others by “gold rushing” with everything in sight. All of these options, in my opinion, are very favourable and made for a hilarious week.
But not only were they some of the happiest few days of my life, they were also some of the saddest.
Although I know that I’ll see my very closest friends again, it’s sad to think that I won’t see them day in, day out. I won’t be able to pop round the corner for a cup of tea, prelash at theirs or have an impromptu trip to the beach in the summer. Instead, we’ve all gone back to our respective towns and even countries where we once lived, to our lives before any of the past three years had happened and before any of us existed to each other. It’s strange to think of a time where they weren’t a part of my day to day life.
But not only will I miss my closest friends. I’ll miss all those people that you drunkenly bump into on a night out, share some tequila with and enjoy some light hearted (and at times emotional) chats with in the smoking area. It’s those people that (albeit rather pessimistic), you might never see again that makes the whole goodbye thing so tragic. It’s the people that you drunkenly kissed or perhaps shared a few days of fun with where there might have been a spark but down to bad timing, it never developed. It’s those people you admired from afar and never really got to know properly. It’s the people from your course who you worshipped because they were always far less hungover than you at 9am lectures. It’s those people, the people that you’re saying goodbye to before you’ve even really said hello to properly, that makes it so sad.
I have so many memories from university that they’ve sort of merged into one big blur but some that stand out for me and i’m sure many of you are; post lash at 12 Springfield, Arena, prelash in the lobby, nakedness and antics in the football stadium, Canoe Lash, varsity, SSB, the hotel, Mambos, Lash Olympics and the beach. But one night that will stand out for me over most is the Grad Ball. As my house mate said before we got in the taxi, ‘Don’t be sad Liv. This isn’t the last night, this is the night’. And it really was. I got to say my goodbyes and have fun at the same time. I really couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my three years at university.
So, as we say our final farewells, unpack for the very last time and look back on our time at Exeter, I want to wish everyone the very best of luck for the future and hope that we will all, one day, come back together and party in style with some apple VK’s. For old time’s sake.
Now it’s time for us to down some aspirin, get some sleep and get over our three year hangovers.
For all the wonderful people I met at the University of Exeter, 2008-2011.