Saturday, March 30, 2013

Letter From Manchester

 

In Manchester, the End is Nigh. Of course, only for those who are at the end of their University experience and must remind themselves this is a rite of passage and one that has been lived by many before. There are those, like myself, who live everyday leaning towards some Reality Bites inspired 'end of University angst', occasionally sighing forlornly 'only 8 weeks to go now. We'll never see each other again.' There are also those who roll their eyes in response, swig their last slug of beer from their can before realising, equally panicked that the End is indeed Nigh. The time is 2am and that was the last can. Such small crises continue in the midst of the bigger one.

Final papers are being handed in, bikes are cycled through bitter winds and into University to collect grades which finally mean something. Those in relationships are determinedly ignoring June and the future, and others are snogging old friends before it is too late.

Future plans consist for some of blank pages, for others trips to Malaysia or graduate schemes in which one must once again start at the bottom as the runt of the litter, but with the pride of telling relatives at parties that a salary is in sight. While we stir our meals in big communal pots at dinnertime someone asks 'who will be the first of all of us to have a baby?' with the same wariness and excitement reserved for the one who will cure cancer. Gigi, obviously, we quickly conclude and go to scrape the lentils which started to burn in the pan while we shallowly contemplated our own lives as if we were starting to sketch the storyboard for our own future-montage scene. The rest refill their glasses and continue with the next and darker instalment of 'Would You Rather?' with a gruesome scenario which involves a life of being forced to watch your parents most intimate moments, or worse.

Lots of us have left already for Easter and today me and Nanon spent all of our time together, walking along desirable streets after stopping at the greengrocers, pointing at the houses we fantasise about living in next year. I put on a comedy Lancashire accent and tell Nanon "ooh, you could be a modern day Lowry with all them bricks around you, stand still and I'll take a picture." She poses and says "I'm just like Ian Dury" before realising that she meant Curtis, but that Curtis definitely wouldn't have worn a camel coloured coat with slightly puffed shoulders. We continue the househunting like an older and wiser couple and come up with equally fantastical life plans and wonder if they might actually be achievable. We'll get jobs as waitresses and rake in the tips which are currently elusive to us, and in the evenings write the screenplay for a truthful sitcom all about women in their early twenties which will be dazzling and successful and will inevitably recieve comparisons to Girls, because it's about girls, but that's okay, you can't change everything at once. We'll never fall victim to those days when try as you might you can't get out of bed and we'll do all the things and more.

We come home to mine once the snow has returned and our eyelids are too cold to take any more fantasising outdoors and we cook more lentils and together with Yas we youtube 'Can't Hold Us Down' by Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim and remember who great it is, being overly nostalgic about something that only happened in 2002. We think about how nostalgic we'll be in 10 years time, we'll really have license then, but realise that in 10 years time nostalgia will probably be a luxury, and just a way for students with few hours of classes and no real concerns to pass the time, which is okay for now.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a spot on version of how life was like for me in those last days of uni. Thanks for reigniting those memories!

Joy said...

Could not be better said. Exciting times ahead indeed.

mightymackers said...

I love how you write, got some great images there. I graduated last year, and it's a-OK. I've re-watched "Reality Bites" maybe a few too many times, sure, and have wildly optimistic plans about my life, but I'm also learning about what I can and can't control. It's good. Best of luck.

Mara said...

Love the first pic (great sandals) and the second one is quite cute too.
And loved your writing, you have expressed very well all the feelings someone must have at a moment like that in your life. I'm feeling a little Reality Bites too these days, 'cause in 3 days I'm turning 23, and I can't get out of my mind that thing that Winona Ryder's character said: "I was going to be something by the age of 23..." but well I guess I still have time to do plenty of things.
Good luck with any future plan you have in mind (that sitcom I'm sure it would be awesome ^^ specially if it would remind me of Girls, 'cause I love that show).

Kisses,
Mara.

Lily said...

Oy, I'm basically in the same stage you are, with my approaching graduation in May. I took comfort that I basically was nodding my head after each sentence in this post. Your writing always manages to hit so close to home with me.

laura said...

For many Manchester , means quite , peace, and civilization...Munich is loud , and ful of office building...

Helen Le Caplain said...

Make sure you come back to visit! :)

www.mancunianvintage.com

logsy said...

This moved me endlessly. After my three years at Manchester University, the city kept tight hold of me for another four. I eventually left in January this year, after seven years and four months. I've already been back twice to visit. Absorb it while you can.