Sunday, 18 November 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 - day 17

Daily word count:  1,370
Total word count:  31,928
I am in one of those ‘wait… it’s the WEEKEND already’ funks. How did this happen? Time it rushes past me…
I was thinking about time last weekend. My friend and I went back to our old uni campus for a long walk about the grounds. Our old residential college is still there… and spookily enough it looks exactly the same.
The first year of our attendance was 1982. It was a LONG time ago.
But there were still vending machines where they always where. I swear the dining room chairs are the same ones. We managed to sneak inside without a pass card and the corridors smell like they used to. Smell is a huge sense for memory triggers. There are now security screens on the lower windows. But we used to put our back against one wall, feet against the other and ‘chimney’ up to friends’ rooms on the levels above. Crazy, eh?
It was one of those odd age-related experiences where you expect things to be very changed, and you can’t quite deal with it when they are not. 
It was lunchtime and a couple of students sitting outside the dining room noticed me take a photo.
“I’m just taking a shot of my old room,” I explained.

They exchanged looks and asked the obvious question. My friend and I told them when we had lived there, and asked them a few more things. And then one girl said, “I know, you never regretted a day living here.” Or something like that.
Now that’s a difficult question to answer, if it even was a question.
And while I was thinking about it, we veered off into a discussion about how the Student Union building had disappeared and where was the bar? I was the Vice President of the student Union at a time when it was a decent venue for bands, and we got distracted. I told them The Cure played Macquarie Uni in 1981 and one guy just lost his shit.
But the girl’s statement stayed with me. What I really should have said was kind of the same speech my year advisor gave us all when we were filling in the university admission forms in my final year of High school. He said the friends you made at university would be your friends for life. They would be your dates and maybe your spouses. And like all know-it-all seventeen year olds, we rolled our eyes and made fun of him.
I married the guy who had the room next door to mine. We didn’t date at the time, but things changed later. Other friends married other college people. We all stayed friends for years. A big bunch of us continue to meet up for drinks, dinners and get-togethers. And it crosses years of attendance, types of degrees and schools of learning. We were, and are, all sorts, because College mixed us all up together. It was a crucible.
In Orientation week, residents of previous years welcomed us, looked after us and arranged the parties; the wine and cheese nights. Ugh.
By the time uni classes started we were solid.
I remember meeting up with an old school friend from junior high school who attended the same uni. It was only the first month of classes but after two years apart, and an immersive College experience, we had almost nothing in common. She hadn’t changed, I had.
But I didn’t know how to explain that to this young woman.
I just hope her experience is similar to mine. Without the heartbreaks. Those always suck.

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