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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Growing Pains

Something surprising has happened over the past few months; I think I’m finally growing up. At the start of the year I turned 23, hardly geriatric, but truth be told if my younger self looked a year ahead and saw me now I feel that she’d describe me as that word I once dreaded the most: boring. And I’m perfectly happy with that.

 A friend recently asked me on a night out in my hometown and I politely declined. The idea of spending a good hour layering on make-up and agonising over which black dress to wear (I swear they’re all so different) to spend an eye-watering sum of money on radioactive looking shots (drinks should not be acid green), only to wake up next to a greasy, potentially food poisoning inducing kebab did just not appeal to me.

I’m being hyperbolic of course, I’ve had some fantastic nights out in my hometown but of late I just can’t seem to fathom the idea of spending my night sticking to a club floor when I could be in bed indulging in a novel or my latest Netflix find. Bacardi and coke? I’ll stick to a peppermint tea and my book on the Brontës, thanks.

I recently took a walk down memory lane and returned to Nottingham, the city where I spent three years living as a student. It didn’t quite feel the same. During my gap year working I would escape to Nottingham any chance I got to visit my friends there. I suspect a secondary reason to my frequent visits was partial denial at the fact that I had graduated and wasn’t quite where I expected to be in life. I clung onto how walking through Lenton, my former stomping ground, made me feel like a student again, the future still full of possibility while the luxury of not having a definite plan was just part of the package.

I can’t pinpoint the change in my attitude, although I suspect it probably shifted when I began studying at Sheffield. Rather than view my MA as retreating back into a security of student life, I approached it knowing that it would pass quickly and that I would have to consider the future from the minute I stepped foot on campus. It’s daunting but I’ve embraced it. During my gap year I felt stilted; despite having a full time job I was hovering about and didn’t feel quite like an actual adult while I was so fresh out of uni. Ironically, returning to university has made me feel more grown up than ever.

We reached peak Ocean in 2013
During my recent trip to Nottingham I returned to a student club where I spent many boozy nights as an undergrad. I swore I’d never grow tired of the place, from its overpriced VK chasers to the eclectic playlist that jumped from the Arctic Monkeys to Paul Simon to S Club 7 within an hour. “I’m too old for this shit,” I told my friend, barely audible over ‘Lady Marmalade’ (told you the music was brilliant).

The real sour cherry on top of the cake was when the only member of the opposite sex outside the group I was with spoke to me: “So are you a first year then? What hall are you in?” he asked. “No, I’m 23,” I replied. I then gave this very fresh-faced fresher a pearl of wisdom that I certainly didn’t take on board when I was 18: “you’re going to have the best three years of your life. Enjoy every minute. It’ll be over before you know it.”

I felt like I’d moved on from my days in Nottingham, being there felt like I was replaying a happy memory in my mind, in a ‘been there, done that’ sense. And so my friend and I left before midnight, got in our cosiest PJs, had a cup of tea and played a game of monopoly. This ‘boring’ life isn’t so bad after all…

NG <3

Cat photo credit: David O'Hare via Flickr

1 comment

  1. It's ok to be a granny. You'd had your time to party and now you can relax and enjoy a new kind of fun


© NG

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