Finding a place to live when you’re in first year can be a prospect very daunting or very exciting. In most cases, the people that you meet and grow to love within the first few weeks of term become the people you begin discussing moving in with – and just like that, by Christmas, you know that you’ll have a roof over your head for the next year.
Luckily, this is how it was for me. And till this very day I do not regret my choice of companionship. But unfortunately, life has a wonderful way of ruining expectations. I know too many people who now despise the people they chose to live with. I’m sorry if you’re one of those people who have had massive fallings out with friends because of living situations. We weren’t all made to live together.
I am not one of those people. I recently had a house night out, and realised that the girls I chose to live with have actually become some of my best friends at university. They’re girls that I don’t fight with – that living with is the easiest thing in the world. That 4 months in, am still asking and being asked how my day was. We still banter for hours sitting on the stairs. We still and have a plethora of house private jokes.
I’m so damn lucky, I realised. That I’m living with immature yet responsible teenagers. We eat each other’s food and we complain about mess, but most importantly: we get along. We accept each other for the way we are. Accept that we aren’t always going to have the bins out on time and that someone will be harbouring all the cups in their room at least once a week. That’s how it should be. That’s what living with the people you love is. They support me when I need it. I hold up Meg’s hair when she’s puking after one too many Sambucas. She wipes my tears when I’m an emotional mess. Liz lovingly reprimands us all into doing the right thing. Amy laughs at us all and claims we’re a tragic bunch. We come to the consensus that we need to behave ourselves. Little by little, we’re getting there. This is what university is. Growing together.
I’m really starting to come to the realisation that every amazing thing I ever dreamed about the university experience is happening for me. I’m so grateful.
I only wish this was the case for every student out there. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not so much. But nevertheless, we do meet people who impact our lives in ways we would have never thought possible.
I spent the majority of the Christmas holidays refusing to swallow my pride. I was aggravated at my mother. She had done something, which to my teenage eyes, was a complete act of betrayal.
In reality? It was something so petty I won’t even bother disclosing.
Today I revived awful news that she is currently in a dangerous situation, and was involved in a pretty damn terrifying state of affairs in her travels to Africa. And you know what? It took less than a second for me to drop every grudge and all the mediocre bullshit I ever held against her. Those ridiculous times I thought she didn’t love me enough were forgotten. Those moments – in the heat of my teen angst – I considered that I hated her, didn’t even exist anymore. I cried instead, and thought, ‘Dammit, Sara. You’re a selfish sonofabitch.’
The fragility of life is a lesson I was thoroughly reminded of again. And is something that everyone has to try to remember. I forgot how important it is – to remember that the people we love, love us, and that we love them just as much. I think, it’s something that I don’t think that I will ever forget, despite how easy it is to, even for a little while.
My mother is the best mother that any human being could ever ask for. She’s temperamental, and sometimes pushes people over the edge. But by God, I promise you that she is the most bloody hard-working and intelligent and strong and loving woman that I have ever known.
Forgiveness, kindness and love. Remember that. Nothing else matters in the end. After all, we could die, any moment from now.