A Note on Fresher's Week

Last Sunday I was given some good advice from a very wise 3rd year-Manorite. He told me that Freshers' Week would not be the best week of my life, it would be hard, fun, but challenging. He was absolutely right. I've had an absolute blast, I've made some incredible friends, tried new food, drink and makeup, pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, dressed up in some ridiculous outfits, explored Bristol, stayed up till 4am chatting about all those important things like boys, friends and life. For most of this week I have been so consumed with delirious happiness it's like I've been gliding everywhere. I feel complete in so many ways.

However, despite the fun and the company there is that lonely, disconnected feeling that I assume comes with leaving home and the people you love. Shauna Niequiest says that 'Sometimes we have to leave home in order to find out what we left there, and why it matters so much' and this concept has haunted me for the past seven days, particularly in relation to Annie. I'm in the place where she should be, I'm doing the things we were supposed to do together, I'm meeting people I want her to know, doing things I need to tell her about. That support I had back at home to carry me through my grief hasn't transferred to Bristol, no one here knew her and knew me as her friend. That's not to say they're not supportive or caring, it's just hard for them to really understand what a tragedy it is and I feel guilty for talking about it. But it's not just grief that's caused the discomfort, it's that realisation that you are completely on your own and that you have to re-establish yourself all over again. I still have that desperate Fresher Face that says 'Be my friend' and 'Where the HELL am I?' but so does everyone. This is where the bizarre perks of Fresher's Week come in - everyone wants friends, no one knows where they're going, so everyone will talk to you and offer to help you out. It's brilliant.

Perhaps it hasn't been the best week of my life, but it's still up there as one of my favourites. It's been a positive struggle. Despite the isolated independence I am surrounded by people and company, it's just about finding my rhythm with the characters and personalities that have imprinted themselves into such a significant week of my life. I love them all so much already and I can't wait to spend this season of learning and development with such an amazing, eclectic group of individuals.

1 comment :

  1. When I went to Uni I found it incredibly lonely at times. I did eventually gel with a group of mates and there's one guy who I'm still friends with all these years later - I even videoed his wedding for him.
    The poet Tamara Cross once wrote about being "totally surrounded, yet so alone..." in her prize winning poem Cherry-Brown Shoes.
    Sometimes I sense something of a cloud of grief myself - more in the sense that I know there are so many people who miss Annie so much.
    Maybe this is a chance to draw closer to God and find more comfort from Him. "Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:8
    I hope this helps.