So, after making the decision not to apply for university straight from school, I changed my mind and went for it.
I hadn’t applied because I was fed up with the constant pressure to do so, from school primarily but also from my father (more on him one day perhaps). I was fed up with the constant assertion that without a degree you’d never get a real job, and with a degree you’d automatically get a graduate job. What a load of crap, it ended up feeling like a challenge. So I didn’t apply and went on with my life.
Then one day I woke up, decided to apply for university and applied that week. A day later I was accepted and I was left with six months to plan for it. I had been accepted first time to The University of Wales, Cardiff on a Retail Management degree. The choice was based on my few years with tesco and it was an easy option for a business degree. My alternate was teaching, but without experience I just felt like too much trouble.
I was ready to move on and do with one small problem, a girlfriend with whom I’d been with some time. We had had a decent enough relationship, it never felt fully right to be honest, there were trust issues on both sides (unfounded regarding me) but we would probably have plodded along for a few more years before suddenly ending or having a child. She suggested moving to Cardiff with me at which point it dawned on me that she was a part of the life I’d applied to move on from. So heartless as it sounds she had to go.
Cue me working all the hours I could until September when I could move to my university hall. Wow, what a crappy room. It was big to be fair, but lacking in any warmth or character or anything else. It was a strange moment moving in, my parents took me in and left, and whilst they were walking round the building to the car I was in my room having a thirty second panic that actually this wasn’t the smart thing to do, it passed and I was left to it.
All of my sudden I was forced to be sociable- I had two choices 1 do what I always do and bide my time until I made friends or 2 break the habit of a lifetime and make an effort. Well, new country new life, I made an effort. This consisted of attending every freshers event, night out, induction etc etc etc in the effort of making friends. It had some small success, my Facebook friend list skyrocketed, but friends didn’t come. Two week later on day one of my course I meet gas (mentioned before) and the rest of the friend stories will come another time, but I was right, I should have done what I do best.
A small additional note, I was working for tesco and had applied for a transfer for the money. I was offered three hours a week, every Sunday at a store 3 buses and 90 minutes away, or a 2 hour walk. Fantastic in a place as wet and damp as Cardiff. Honestly, looking back I wish I’d accepted it, the inconvenience for 12 months would have been fixed a year later when I lived a 15 minute walk away, but such is the sacrifice I made to my financial power at the time.