“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.”
I came across this quote on tumblr a few days ago and my first thought was, ‘I better save this, I can definitely use it in a blog post’. My second thought was that it probably wasn’t Fitzgerald who wrote it, like many “quotes” from ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, it is not in fact our friend Scott who penned it but Eric Roth, the writer who adapted it for the screen. These misquotations, highly prevalent around this film in particular, are one of my pet hates (don’t even get me started on quotes from Troy masquerading as excerpts of ‘The Iliad’).
But I digress.
I think this quote captures really well how I felt about coming home for Christmas. Seeing my old town didn’t feel as strange as I thought it would, which conversely made it feel strange…but something did seem different, and it wasn’t until I read this quote that I realised what had changed, was me.
I can’t say I feel particularly wiser or more independent than I did before uni because I had already taken a year out and done all the ‘new adult things’ like doing the laundry and making dinner, so what has changed?
Well I’m doing the thing I love, studying literature, full time now, and that brings with it a sort of reassuring certainty. When relatives ask what I want to do in the future, whilst I’m not willing to write it in stone yet, I now have a pretty good answer and a plan of how to achieve it. I know what I want and how I’m going to have to work to get it – and that feels good.
Secondly, I’ve met loads of new people which never fails to broaden your horizons, even if that sometimes means learning strange things like badger culling practices in Devon (you know who you are).
And thirdly, university isn’t just about teaching you things, facts that can be accumulated in notebooks, university is about teaching you new ways to think altogether. It should make you challenge every assumption and seriously critique your own thought processes. Sometimes my lecturers say something and I think I can almost feel my brain working overtime to create new neuro-pathways to deal with this information, it’s not filling gaps in your knowledge but adding a whole new library wing of things you didn’t know you didn’t know. Walking around your home town feels like temporarily stepping into the past and trying to walk in a pair of shoes you’ve now outgrown, or at least that’s how it seems to me.
I don’t know if other students would agree, and I am interested to hear other people’s experiences of going home after their first term at uni. But right now, I really need to get some more reading done before I begin the great trek to Norwich next week.
Until then xxx