Numb

In my graduation robe with the city behind me.

A weird sensation came over me today. As I finished work early and it’s a gloriously sunny day I decided to talk a walk round my old University campus, which I have been living a stone’s throw away from since February.

I walked passed the old hall that I had my final exam in, overwhelmed with exhaustion and anticipation; the hall I also performed three productions in with the university musical theatre society I joined. I felt nothing.

I passed the student’s Union, home of two nightclubs, two bars, the student media hub and various other campus facilities. A large part of my first couple of years were spent in this building. Again, I felt nothing. Underneath the Union is the campus shop, I browsed the same shelves I would buy my various meals from, ensuring I visited my beloved stationery aisle where I’d purchase all my vastly over-priced notebooks. I still felt nothing.

I wandered along the same route I would take to go to class, past the library where I lived during my final year, and towards the towering School of Humanities. Every thing I learned in the best part of those four years, all the wisdom that comes from being a student and all the knowledge I needed for my degree, happened in that building. Still felt nothing.

I ventured down the path beside the sports centre, which had nurtured my love of dance and netball, whilst also showing it’s darker side by hosting a few of my exams. I didn’t feel a thing.

Then I walked past the flat I spent my final year of University in, with a group of people that started out as my best friends and had drifted away from me within the space of twelve months. A flat in which I experienced so many emotions during one of the most difficult, demanding and rewarding years of my life. Yet, almost two years on, I felt nothing but a bit thirsty!

On my way home I walked back along the edge of the place in which I had paved my future, through the gardens where I last saw all my friends during our graduation party – the campus so full of life and colour and noise. Today all that was left was a bit of grass and a lonely student reading a book in the sun. I still felt numb.

In my graduation robe with the city behind me.
In my graduation robe with the city behind me. 

My lack of emotion and feeling towards what had been my home for three and a half years (I studied abroad for a semester) came as a bit of a surprise. As I was approaching campus I expected some of the feelings I had to come flooding back – the anxiety I often felt on my way to class (I hated the small tutorials in case I was asked to speak out in front of people), the excitement I would get on my way to the Union, the warmth I would feel passing the music building that housed my beloved musical theatre society, the gratitude that would overcome me passing the School of Humanities, and the excitement of knowing I have my whole life ahead of me as I went.

It’s like I am grieving and going through the motions after losing someone I held very close to my heart. Perhaps I will feel something towards it again one day, or perhaps it’s a reminder that life goes on and we grow faster than we know.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey. I’m in the same boat as you – graduating. Numb is definitely the word. The part about drifting from your best friends in first year too is so surreal. I’m such a nostalgic person – I don’t think it’s healthy! Lee

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