WAS I A WALLY?
The comings and goings of my girlfriend took a while to get used to, it always felt amazing when her train pulled into Huddersfield train station, the look of happiness in her Hazel eyes as she hugged and kissed me before asking me to pull her suitcase filled me up with so much joy every week, it made everything I went through during the week worth it but when she would go home, I felt awful…because it would be a whole week before I’d see her again…now I know what some would say, that some people would go a whole term without seeing there loved ones, that I shouldn’t complain since the longest I would go without seeing her was five days yet at the time, she was honestly one of the only people I could confidently talk too…yes I had my flatmates but it took me a long time to trust anyone properly, she was really all I had…sounds sad but one month into my University life…it felt true. I could talk to people and have conversations, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go a whole week without saying a word to anyone but with her, I could pour out all of my emotions, I didn’t have to hold back at all and the feeling was amazing and it would prove to keep me at University all the way.
The first mark I ever got back for an essay was a 40, I scrapped a pass…I swear I could have have fallen backwards off my seat when I read that mark, I think I felt like a Nuclear Bomb going off in my head, I mean I was relieved that I had passed but I was pissed off and was annoyed that it had been by the ‘skin of my teeth’ and I had a horrible addiction to compare my marks to the others on the course and when you hear that many have done very well, you feel like you’ve not even tried at all, that these people were premier league superstars and I was a survival team barely escaping relegation from league 2, very disappointing but perhaps I’m just being too harsh on myself. It would only be the first time I’d compare my marks to other people and it would be a while before I had matured and stopped doing that but that first essay was a reminder of how it could have been if I didn’t adapt and grow as a student.
At the end of the day, it was year one and as long as you got 40 then you would pass the year and go onto year two so I had done what they had asked off me on the first try but still, I wanted to go on from this and get better, there was no way I could go three whole years scrapping marks, I don’t think I’d have survived without ending up in hospital. It was only the first essay and I would have no idea how much harder they would be and how much more creative I suddenly had to get in order to get the 2:1 Degree that I was so obsessed with. I can’t even remember what the essay was about, was so long ago now and it sounds like I’m moaning about it all, boo hoo you got a pass and not a first…well at the time…you’d be right,I was throwing my toy out of the pram and everything…I may have assumed that after college, good marks would just come naturally but this was a new world, one where the extra mile had to be put in and more work, dedication and heart needed to be given to just get a 2:2, let alone a 2:1 or heaven forbid…a 1st degree. I ruled out from day one that I would ever get a First Degree, it felt an achievement too far out of my grasp…I had decided that I would either get a high 2:2 or a 2:1 and I would stick by that to the very end.
A Trip to the Hospital
On to class work and progress was slow but I could speak to people…sort of but I still always felt uneasy, like I always was close to stepping on egg shells just by how I would approach a conversation with someone, perhaps the worries were all created by me and all the negative thoughts. In one class, I remember that we were asked to make a human pyramid in a group exercise and it was during this that a lad’s knee gave way and caused the pyramid to collapse. He needed to go to the hospital and it was asked that one of us would go with him and for some reason, I said that I would go with him…maybe it was because no one put there hand up straight away or I felt really bad for him, he looked in pain so I volunteered to go along to make sure that he was alright but what it showed me was that I could make connections and talk to people confidently, I didn’t have to feel like an outsider…people would talk and be nice to me…I just needed to believe in myself and I felt like this was a big step in the right direction, I was very happy.
I think the first milestone each year was Halloween and I think that because it was a big event that happened each year, a month after you start, yes there’s freshers but I think that’s too predictable, first years going overboard and stuff like that, everyone would think of Freshers first before Halloween. It was a little bad for me because I wouldn’t be celebrating the occasion with my girlfriend who loved Halloween, she was a tad jealous that I was going out with people. However, before the party, she had come down to visit me and I had purchased some tickets for us to look about the dark tunnels beneath Storthes Hall, old tunnels were dead Mental Patients were taken to graveyards around the area and it was dark, cramp and full of spider webs, dust and the occasional rat…my girlfriend thought it was a terrible experience, so much that she had to be led out of the group by one of the actors who was performing…it was kind of like York Dungeons but as they led her out, some of the actors hadn’t got the message and they continued there performance, scaring her even more, much to my amusement…she made me pay for it later on. Girls have powers when it comes from food or sex…I behaved.
I don’t what I was thinking about when it came to deciding my Halloween costume, I don’t think I had anything to drink previous to making the decision to be Where’s Wally but regardless of what I was thinking, I tossed on my little hat, shirt and surprisingly comfortable blue pants which to this day, remain in the back of my wardrobe and for some daft reason, thought that I needed some blood around my mouth…well they do say University is for experimenting, right? Anyway, moving on…i chose to dress up as…some sort of…I can’t sum up in words how this idea turned out to be fair…I thought it’d look a lot better in my head.
good god, that picture is awful…oh well, i can remember how messy my room was at least back then. After taking some photos of us all in a group, we set off for the Bar and When we arrived there, I was horrified, beyond belief…words could not describe the horror that was stood before me outside the bar, the most evil thing I could have anticipated happening, your worst nightmare. Some twat was also dressed as Where’s Wally! I mean, what were the odds of there being two wally s at the same bar? It was a momentary stand off that resulted in neither one of us being able to decide who should remain a wally and who should go back to there flat and get changed but from what i can remember, we both got bored and went with our separate parties, the epic battle for Wally Supremacy was postponed…probably never to have it’s conclusion because we were all too busy dancing and getting drunk. I remember having my hat stolen many times that night and people asking for pics with Wally or some people coming up to me and saying ‘I FOUND YOU WALLY!’ that got annoying…not as annoying as me having to watch out for one of my flat,mates that enjoyed wandering around by himself, getting very drunk and dancing with girls that he didn’t know, that would get very annoying as the year went on. I also recall banging my head on the floor at some point during the night, I think I slipped on a wet patch on the ground and who knows, maybe it was that moment that would lead to one of the weirdest moments during my time at University.
You see I was feeling a bit warm, being inside a dance room with so many people made it very warm so I decided to step outside and get some fresh air and there he was again, that other wally laughing away with his group and you’d think that this was the moment, I’d have it out with him and we’d decide who the real Wally would be at Storthes Hall but I had a lot to drink and my judgement probably wasn’t the best…. I noticed in the corner of my eye, a squirrel on the edge of the woods path and at this point it was around midnight…pitch black but for some reason, I wanted to chase it so without saying a word and forgetting about everyone else…I ran after the terrified critter, right into the midst of Storthes Hall Woods and the
Paths were hard enough to follow during the day, at night it was just pointless and I knew that the watchman with his German Shepard would be guarding the Mental Hospital, I prayed that I wouldn’t accidentally stray down the wrong path and be chased by the dog.
Not the best way to end a night out, a drunken Where’s Wally lost in the middle of nowhere…no one else about but I was too drunk to get scared or paranoid about ghosts, demons and I had even forgotten about being on the same grounds as a an old Mental Hospital which would scare many shit less, especially in the middle of the night on Halloween (cue the Thriller song) by now I had lost the Squirrel and had been found by my flatmates who had dragged me out of the woods, I hadn’t gone in as far as I had thought…it felt like it was a long way at the time but what can I say, I was drunk and probably wanted to make a hard ‘Where’s Wally game’ or something. I made it back to the party safely and enjoyed my night in the end, it was fun and I remember having a massive hangover the next morning and for some reason, red marks all over my shower…I can’t remember what I did but I think I had left the red paint in the shower that I had used to paint my face and it had gone all over the place without my knowledge.
In my first month, I had taken good steps to come out of my shell, feel comfortable in my surroundings, make connections with new people, strengthen my relationship with my girlfriend and go out clubbing…it was a good moment because I felt like none of these would happen in Three Years, let alone a month….perhaps there was hope for me yet. Maybe I didn’t need to feel as much as an Alien anymore and it was that thought that gave me a good idea, one that would inspire me for the future and change the direction that I had originally intended to follow.
Check out the first post of this series- at https://mwhitehouse22.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/an-alien-at-university-blog-part-one/