30 June 2013

Moving out and moving on.

Hi guys - it's been a while!

The end of university was hectic, and as a result, my blogging flailed and took a back seat.

Now that I've left university *sob*, I'll try and make time for regular blogging, although I can't promise that all entries will be enthralling and life-changing.

It finally hit me this morning, upon waking up and hearing nothing but the birds singing outside (as opposed to honking, ambulances and the like) that this was it... I had finally left York, and excluding graduation and the odd weekend trip up, I was never going back.

This realisation has made me pretty emotional, but I thought I'd turn this sadness into something more creative. And so, here is a list of things a student cannot do upon returning home and living with the parents:

1. Nights out

Nights out at home will never be the same as a night out at university.  I've decided this is for three main reasons...

Pre-drinks: At university, I would drink a bottle of wine before I'd gone out, or a healthy amount of cheap-o vodka with mixer. At home, you can't sit in the living room, chugging back the vino, without parents exclaiming "Exactly HOW much are you drinking? You'll be on the floor! Just THINK what you are doing to your LIVER." 

Getting tipsy: At university, towards the end of a pre-drinking session, people tend to stand up drunkenly and visit the toilet quite a lot. God forbid at home your parents bump into your drunken friends, which if they aren't accustomed to this, looks a) bad on your friends, and b) stands as a bad reflection on you.

The aftermath: The end of a night at university for me means visiting either McDonalds, or grabbing some cheesy chips, then going home with friends and drunkenly dissecting the night's events, careless of how much noise we're making. At home, when you come back, parents and siblings tend to be asleep, so you have to keep the noise down. You're not with friends, and leftover cheesy chips on the dining table would not be appreciated.

2. Throw caution to the wind

University means absolute freedom, meaning it's completely up to you how you spend your time.  If you go out to a friend's with the intention of coming back early, but then don't end up returning until the early hours, no one cares.  At home, however, it's "What time will you be home?" and "Will you be wanting dinner?" and "Who is this friend? Have I met them before?", the Spanish Inquisition only standing to become more intense if you don't keep to your word and return home punctually.

3. Sex

Does this one really need explaining? Unless your bedroom is on the other side of the house, you have perfected doing the deed silently, or have deaf parents, this is a no-go. And forget one-night stands... can you imagine the awkwardness between your hook-up and parents the next day if you fail to sneak them out? Cringe.

4. Manners

This one falls under...

Swearing: now I'm no sailor, but I will hold my hands up and say that with my housemates, I was guilty of letting slip the "s" bomb as an adjective, and the "f" bomb if I was angry.  At home, however, this isn't so acceptable, especially with younger siblings present.  Suddenly you're your parents' "little girl/boy", not on equal ground with your housemates, and there's a hierarchy (and guess what? You're at the bottom). I said "bloody" yesterday and my mother tutted "Language!" ... I don't swear all the time, obviously, but when you're thrown into an environment where Swearing Is Not Acceptable, it's quite a shock, and you have to adjust.

Generally having no shame: As a girl, I can't shout to my former all-female house for a tampon (sorry, guys!), and I'm pretty sure my swooning/leering at the Diet Coke hunk every time the advert comes on, and my saying "And THIS is why I want to marry an architect" comment upon watching Grand Designs wouldn't be quite so tolerated.  Ditto laughing about awful hook ups and pointing out euphemisms, etc etc.

5. Food/hygiene habits

Towards the end of university, my diet was pizza, crisps, fizzy laces and alcohol. At university, a dinner consisting of Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli (a sharers bag, obviously) is more than okay.  In fact, it is applauded - "That is by FAR the best flavour". I think if I tried to pull this at home I would be laughed at and told not to be so stupid. Hygiene-wise, we ran of out loo-roll all the time, and would often have to use cleansing wipes as a substitute. I told my parents this and they almost had a heart attack.

6. Sleeping

Every student will know that at university sleep is the next best thing after food, drink and friends.  It's almost as exciting as the day your student loan comes into your account (I did say almost). Napping was my saving grace in first year, and it's the perfect time waster. When I finished my dissertation, I'd wake up at 9am and realise I COULD GO BACK TO SLEEP. And I did. Today, however, I was berated by my father for waking up at half 11. Sigh.

Student life is pretty brilliant: complete freedom, and at least 3 years with like-minded people who are a similar age and share similar interests.

Even though my upcoming graduation symbolises a shift away from student life, I fully intend to embrace my student days when I can. I may have moved physically away from being a student, but it's going to take more than a geographicaly shift to shake the student out of me.  Sorry, parents!
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