The University Life

February 3, 2023

Waking up is a series of hitting the pause button just before a pivotal moment in a dream, attempting to resume it but having it reset to another scenario that you also believe holds an essential truth. There is something about the broken heating and the work you have to do when you wake up, that makes you seek comfort in the absurdity of your dreams. Of course, this pensiveness of my mornings does not go with punctuality.

It’s a rush from the moment I decide to wake up. Someone is in the bathroom, so I take the liberty to occupy myself with some TikTok as my intended routine is hindered. A shower, skincare, and haircare routine later it’s 12:38 PM. I’ll make it just in time for the lecture to begin. My misguided sense of completion and responsibility always kicks in here and I decide to make the bed before I leave.

No regrets for taking my warmest coat out today, so far at least. It’s so cold. It’s astonishing how no matter the weather; there’s always someone dressed the exact opposite as you. It makes you question your adaptability sometimes. There are no silly thoughts when you have to beat the clock and speed walk your way down a trail through a farm though. With experience and some Open Mike Eagle blaring in your ears, you realise your pace won’t keep the slush from splashing onto your favourite trousers. It has to be done; at this rate, you should be an academic weapon. The race to class is sometimes intercepted by the sun, shining through the tall hedges and well-crafted foliage of the path. The sun here masquerades warmth but instead provides a sense of glee and suddenly it feels like you’re in a Wordsworth poem and it’s tempting to stop and take just a few seconds to take in the sun and its glaze on the grass behind you. Every few steps you walk after that, you do a little run, but so worth it.

I make it into the Chemistry Building at 1:04. It’s barely enough time to settle in beside my friend and say “I ran here” before the lecture begins and calls our attention. There’s a particular fondness for the module that you end up enjoying more than you believed you would. Singular form because it’s just this one for me this year. Our lecture finishes and my resurgent appetite is soon kept at bay with one of the Category F sandwiches in the Billy café. Strictly. Nothing feels better than a potentially full stomach and all your friends being swamped with work at the same time because the red sofas in the café could always do with more silly humour and outrage in the form of procrastination. Today we brainstorm what I can wear to my netball social in the evening. ‘Farmers’. Our brilliant minds soon conclude that it is essentially a cowboy outfit accessorised with some produce and that I could borrow my friend’s questionable but convenient overalls to do it.

A couple of hours pass at the Billy B, and we decide to head home. Philosophy readings sometimes feel like the more you read, the less you truly understand. Rather exhausting. The walk back home doesn’t feel that long today because we’re all crammed onto the pavement trying to keep up with the conversation and pay less heed to the wind on our cheeks as we look into the headlights of the cars that go by us. Our conversations slow as we go up the hill in the Viaduct, it’s unmentioned that we do not want to be breathless by the time we make it to the top.

The feeling of sinking into the sofa on coming home after an entire day out is the most undisturbed and relaxing state of being. I do not know why but the measurement of time is so distinct to each minute while at university. And so, for minutes, I sit with my coat still on, while two of my housemates cook their dinners. Initially providing their insights on the Harry and Meghan bit of jazz but now arguing whether the government should have any authority. There’s a certain sweetness to the versatility and simplicity of our closest friendships.

As I work with the reduced counter space to make myself a more fulfilling roast chicken, the girls decide to go to the college bar. I’m beginning to dread having to leave the house once again.

With the early 2000s playlist and my costume all together, it doesn’t feel right to be at home anymore and so I set off to the SU. Trying to predict the numerous ways my night could go. It isn’t the shortest of walks though and so at some point, I realise that I just really don’t feel like interacting with a lot of people today. So instead, I find myself, a carrot farmer amongst none, at Cuth’s Bar, chatting to my friends about everything and nothing relevant. Sometimes, you feel like hitting the pause button on life just so you can revel in the comfort and effortlessness of its smallest joys. 


Meenakshi Nambiar