Incoming Student Living Officer, Lucky Dube delivers us his penultimate sermon of the academic year on the uniqueness of our university bubble.
When we arrive at university, after our parents or guardians leave, we partially unpack some our belongings, we head out into the communal area of our dwelling for the year and attempt to befriend our flatmates. This time is typified by firsts: for some, the first time away from home, they first time living without parental influence, the first time in a club, the first time cooking for yourself. The first few weeks stands as an introduction to experiences to which you will likely depend, and to which you will become accustomed.
What would’ve seemed novel…becomes normal
What would’ve seemed novel, random walks ” to the downs, or the suspension bridge, spontaneous trips to the pub, coffee dates with friends and suitors, becomes normal. The values imbued within you in the 18/19 years previous will be called into question by the university’s culture: the moment you arrive, you begin to change, you begin to grow.
Looking back at previous experiences has always struck me as a very sad thing to do. In the act of looking back is a recognition that something is about to end; you look back to console yourself of the end to which you are approaching, to evaluate it. I recall speaking to my flatmate on an ordinary evening, in the first weeks of 1st year, and he said something that stuck me as very sad indeed – he said, ‘I’m really going to make the most out of uni. I know these will be the best days of my life.’Although I disagree with the view that university is the best part of anyone’s life because you cannot possibly know if it is until your entire life is behind you, but it appears to me now that he was saying something else.
He was recognising that there’s something extraordinary about the environment we have chosen to be a part of.Extraordinary insofar as the freedom, the constant intellectual stimulation, and the wealth of experiences on offer is something that will, for the most part, be lost as soon as we leave, and join the world of work. This is a unique time and it is important that we, as students immerse ourselves in the breadth and diversity of opportunities that are available to us.
Now – the end – is a time typified by lasts: the last time you’ll slave over a piece of work before a deadline, the last house party, the last time you’ll sit through a lecture
Now – the end – is a time that typified by lasts: the last time you’ll slave over a piece of work before a deadline, the last house party, the last time you’ll sit through a lecture. These are all moments of deep melancholy, but it would be defeatist to leave with the view that your best days are behind you. Although the university environment has its issues that I hope to ameliorate over the coming year as your elected Student Living Officer, there’s something about the bubble, the sense that the university is, as it were, its own eco system, that I’ll miss.
The end, ultimately, is a time of reflection: a reflection on the experiences you’ve had that culminates, hopefully, in the view that it was all worth it.