Despite the fact that my ensuite box of a room is very reminiscent of undergraduate days (visiting friends may be a bit squashed on the floor), life as a postgrad already feels very, very different. But that’s because I’m very different. Get ready for this… I’m a mature student.
When I look back on my first Fresher’s Week, 18 years old, newly arrived in the city of Leeds, I cannot fathom whence I found the energy to go out every night and be all enthusiastic. Everything was new and exciting to me back then. Now I’ve been round the Higher Education block a few times, everything is familiar, including accommodation drama (more on that below). I’ve literally been there, done that, got the hoody. The very thought of the Fresher’s Ball, once a thrilling rite of passage, now fills me with dread when I visualise befouling an evening gown against grimy, sweaty freshers coughing freshers’ flu into snakebites, heaving in an overcrowded Student Union club with an abysmal sound system.
The drive to party every night has attenuated substantially over the intervening seven years. I have become one of those “calm” postgrad friends I befriended during my undergrad days, who might accompany me on a drunken blow-out every now and then, but generally led a mellow and balanced lifestyle – meaning they were awake during the day and asleep at night, not the other way around, and had control of their emotions.
One thing that’s got me on the warpath, however, is my hall of residence. As already alluded to, it is indeed a construction site (with no official communication about this until arrival day) and my narrow window faces directly onto one of these sites, with builders walking around and able to see straight into my room and sounds of drilling and god knows what else reverberating around the premises. I’m not impressed. But fear not, I’m on the case.
Today the sun shines down on the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and this mature student feels at home already.