How is it that students get to live a double life? Switching from one place to another and both being entirely normal to us. At first, when anybody moves to a new place it seems strange and we ask if we can ever get used to the kind of life we see around us. But as time passes and we unpack the boxes, we settle in and it all seems normal again.
Students are constantly on the move, darting around from our one city to the next. Having done this myself I am always amazed at how quickly I see home, and my university lifestyle as being normal. It can take up to seven or more hours to get from one to the other, I take trains and planes to make my switch and have to move country to see my other ‘normal’.
But it is always an easy switch, when I’m in England I see the culture of rushing precision on the trains and busy business men and women darting past on the street, then when I come back to Ireland I see the same town I know and grew up in and the same old faces all walking past again.
Many of the UK’s population will experience the student world of pasta, beer and essay writing. But what is it really like to move away from home and discover your own new place? Some will move away and be an hour away from home in the next big town or city, but for many students it is not so simple. The move takes on a several hour separation from where you’ve always called home.
At first the challenges are easy, where’s the pub? Where’s the shop? And where can I buy some cheap beer? When life in a new environment comes so easy and entertaining it’s virtually impossible not to take full advantage. So in general, we do! After a few weeks however, the challenges change for students who have taken this leap of faith away from their hometowns.
When university starts the term a new panic overtakes, floods of information and new potential friends whizz past and start a new confusion. The difficulty in finding classes is unimaginable, campus maps become you’re closest friend as you have to find buildings named after streets and people you’ve never even heard of. And yet I can still say it all becomes normal?
The adrenaline is high and the nervous laughter shared in the lecture theatres starts to build new bonds and friendships that you start to feel relaxed by. Almost every student will paint the same picture of the starting weeks of university, and from experience it’s true. The problems don’t stop here, there is even more to consider after the strange named buildings, the cheap beer and the nervously laughing friends you’ve just made.
What if you need a doctor? A Dentist? Or the cheapest way home? More issues to work out in the new abnormal life. You find all the answers and start to get used to a new place and even feel comfortable in the new surroundings. Before long it all makes sence and although you don’t know everywhere you have a much better idea of where you are and how to get around.
The new friends all talk about the same thing and your lost lifestyle becomes normal. The lost feelings are overruled by the comfort of independence and knowing it’s all working out. But when you return home and have the home cooked dinners and usual nights out there is a comfort once again in being home. It is an easy transition to make several times a year and in a year of university life the questions all get answered and the fear all fades away making the new strange and uneasy surroundings just like home.
This is a usual experience for many students who move away from home and live this mysterious double life. What are you’re experiences of university and moving away from home and ‘normality?’. Comment on the Blog and let us all know.