Wild and Wandering Thoughts of a frizz-laden loon

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well, Durham doesn't want me, it turns out.

I can't say I'm not disappointed; I absolutely loved it there and was hoping for an offer, even if it was a high one. I knew rejection was a possibility, but I was still hoping for it not to happen.

As it stands:

York - AAB
Warwick - AAB, plus extra B at AS. (Impossible, basically, as I got two As and two Cs at AS level.)
Lancaster - ABB
Cardiff - AAB

Now that I have my four, my two favourites are York and Cardiff (I went to Cardiff for the first time yesterday, and completely fell in love with it without really realising it. Although I've loved all the unis I've visited, Cardiff has been the first one to make me feel truly excited about becoming a university student. It's incredible!), but I can't really choose both York and Cardiff, as they're both offering me the same.


So, if something goes balls-up at exam time and I don't get the right grades, I won't get into either of them. And, if I do get the right grades, I'd still have to choose between them.

The way it's going, I'll either choose York and Lancaster, or Cardiff and Lancaster. It's odd; a week ago I'd never have imagined choosing Cardiff and Lancaster; they were the last two on preference list, after all! (This was before I'd visited Cardiff, of course.)

I'm waiting until I visit York again next month, then I can start thinking it through seriously. I'm dithering at the moment.

Goodbye, Durham! It was nice knowing you. And I'm very glad I know about it now rather than having to wait for months. I've got four offers to work with. I'm lucky.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Amazing what a painted wooden cat can do to your psyche.

I had a bit of a moment, earlier.

Mum and dad are redecorating the kitchen at the moment, and are sort of in the preliminary stages; I walked in earlier to find everything adorning the walls, windowsills or shelves taken away and put somewhere else (including pictures, fridge magnets, the multitude of notices on our noticeboard...), which completely unnerved me; it's been the same for...years!

Anyway, my parents were out so I'd made myself dinner, and while I was doing the washing up (with Billie Holiday's Blue Moon playing from the other room, which kind of amplified the nostalgic atmosphere, for some reason), I looked out of the window and saw a kitchen ornament sitting on top of this little wood burner my dad keeps in the garden; the ornament itself is an odd little wooden cat that sits with its legs dangling, but instead of arms it has a hollowed out red tray, with Free Bird Seed written on it in yellow letters. I think it's meant to stay in the garden, but we've always had it sitting on the top cupboard in the kitchen.

I saw it through the window, and without warning, there was instantly a lump in my throat and my eyes were welling up. Suddenly, despite UCAS notifications and exams and open days and trains and, really, the knowledge that this would happen eventually, it suddenly hit me like some kind of fatal blow; I will leave here.

Not necessarily for a lengthly period of time; not yet, and not permanently. Essentially, a few months at a time. But, the reality smacked me in the face without me expecting it. Some day, relatively soon, I'll walk out of the door and travel to a new home, of sorts, and stay there. I won't wake up in the same bed I've woken up in for seventeen years, I won't have the same homely kitchen, I won't see the same ornaments and the same pictures and the same family mementos that mean nothing to anyone besides us, that I see every day.

And despite the familiarity of this house, despite the fact that I've lived here for so long that nothing is dazzling about it, to any of us; and despite the other fact that I've got months to go before I leave, I suddenly had an impression of how much I'll miss it when I leave.

And it hurt. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it's true nonetheless; it suddenly ached, knowing how much of my life, how much of my home, I'll be leaving behind. All the things I barely notice, and already take for granted. The cold front porch that smells like newsprint, the faded red carpet upstairs, the odd kitchen table that's attached to the wall and only has one leg. Everything.

Even thinking about it now makes that lump come back, and my eyes sting.

Of course I'm looking forward to university. I can't wait to go; it's going to be the most exciting and liberating experience, I can already tell. To start a whole new life nearly from scratch, surrounded by like-minded people in such huge institutions; how is that not exciting? And I don't want to cling to home, and I hope I won't too much. Transitions have to happen; I have to break away eventually. And I will, of course I will.

But it's only hitting me now how hard that could be, at the very start.

School's probably going to be worse, because there's a definite cut-off point. I'll still be able to visit home in university breaks; my bedroom will stay for as long as it needs to (hopefully!), and I'll be welcomed in. But if I ever visited school again and knew that there was no place for me there anymore, that I was officially a "visitor"...it would mess with my head a bit, I think. The baton will have completely passed; we'll all be outsiders.


Argh, I have to stop this before I get incredibly depressed. It's going to happen, my girl! Big changes will happen in the oncoming months and they'll be refreshing, exciting, definitely stressful, and wonderfully new. And once I get to where I end up, I'm sure it'll be incredible. I'll make sure I have the time of my life.

But for now...it aches. Just a little.

Right, must go and seek out cake ingredients. Sorry for melancholy!

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