The whole university student fantasy is about being messy. Making instant friends with new flatmates, drinking way too much cheap gin and going out.
These are the key primal highlights of the uni experience. This is why it’s so hard to be stuck at home and still try to be that person behind a screen. Right now we’re being encouraged to prioritise our mental health but that’s hard to do when life is literally distanced.
You do not want to know what I’d sacrifice to hang out in the girl’s bathrooms again. Being in a questionable but loved club, cueing to use the loo. Talking to anyone nearby about stupid things, receiving compliments that will carry you through the night.
On my first Stirling night out of 2020, I achieved the golden standard. Someone compared me to Kat Hernandez from Euphoria. I carry that single memory with me in my soul every day and I will never forget it.
That being said, it only makes it harder to be home. Especially when I’m meant to be making mistake after mistake. Letting my friend buy me two tequila shots when I know I can barely handle one. Seeing one of my friends in her favourite club, vibing to Mr Brightside. Then finding another and squealing in delight like I just met my favourite icon.
And by no means am I ashamed of these actions.
And although I do miss these times, I find myself missing seminars more. I miss physically being in a classroom and seeing people. That doesn’t mean I’ll willingly turn on my camera, but you get the gist.
Being at home isn’t only hard because you’re alone, it’s hard because we know what we’re missing. Sure, it saves money and of course, it’s better for your health and safety. We don’t want to risk anyone or ourselves.
But I do miss the morning rush of choosing something to wear. The last-minute plans you have to shower and get ready for. Unplanned trips into the city centre just to window shop or get food. Or hounding your friends to help you with a class assignment.
I miss taking photographs with my friends and that kind of surprised me. I think it’s because of all the memories popping up on my Snapchat. I miss finding that perfect moment and mood and capturing it all at once.
So, if you’re sad, let yourself feel sad. It’s not selfish to want to be back in the lifestyle we signed up for. Sometimes I feel bad for wanting to be back at university, then I remember I have a lot to miss. I’ve missed celebrating some incredible friends graduate, I’ve missed saying goodbye as they’ve moved on. And I’m missing some of my amazing friends final years at uni.
The media is quick to guilt young people for wanting their freedom back. We’re not insisting on breaking the rules, just nostalgic. Being drunk on a Monday, singing karaoke on a Thursday and being hungover and in McDonald’s on a Friday.
One of my favourite things to do (and I’m not weird because of it: it’s totally normal) was people watching. Seriously, I just loved seeing what fits people were flaunting. So much of my inspiration came from everyday people. You know what else I miss? Falling in lust with a new stranger every single day.
Are these very millennial things to miss? Obviously. We’re in our early twenties or still teenagers, it’s not like there’s much else to think about. Right now is our prime time to screw up, barely pass our classes and laugh about it over pitchers.
I won’t apologise for missing university and neither should you. We all know where we’d rather be and there’s nothing wrong with wanting that. You’re not being irresponsible for daydreaming about being an authentic student again and it doesn’t make you a terrible person either.
But this is not me telling you to break lockdown rules. It’s just acknowledging there is a lot to miss and your feelings are justified. Don’t ever feel alone because I can assure you that you’re not. Dreaming to be back to your carefree ways with your friends doesn’t make you irresponsible.
It just means you’re human like the rest of us and struggling a little with what we can’t have.
Featured image credit: Designmynight.com