Halloween had come and gone and the month of November had begun…it was a cold time and work was just as cold to be honest, I wasn’t that confident at this time, lectures were tough…mainly because I didn’t really speak to many people but the length and time of work that I had to do didn’t make me think that I was going to graduate, I assumed that I’d drop out at some point but for some reason, I would always try to push that thought out of my head…maybe deep down, I would always think that I would overcome my fears and be a different person…a more confident person…who knows, I had made it this far so anything could happen, at least I thought that in my head.
It isn’t always easy to wander into an environment full of confident, outgoing and talented people like University students when your shy all the time and have a tendency to doubt yourself but I did so…feeling terrified in the first year, I will always remember the moments where I cried, screamed and begged to leave…to get away from everyone who didn’t understand me, who couldn’t see that I wanted to be seen, be heard and to be liked but for some unknown reason, at least I thought, no one was interested because I wasn’t much of a drinker, clubber or a talker but I was still there…so I guess there was always hope…in my head at least.
I remember a wet November morning on campus, I was sat outside in the rain, holding a bacon sarnie in my frozen hands… feeling kind of sorry for myself and debating whether I should bother going to my lecture or not, either that or I could go to the train station and…just get on a train and go…somewhere…no idea where but away from Huddersfield…that’s what I wanted at the time, desperately, I craved it. I was annoyed about the situation that I had gotten myself into…coming to University in the first. I think it was the 2nd time I had considered packing it all in and going home, I mean…not everything was going to plan, well perhaps not as I had gone out a bit more then I had thought I would in Three years, let alone three months so that was a positive but I never really felt comfortable being in small crowded places with drunk students for hours on end. I like being around people but I guess…sometimes I like to be by myself, not all the time, just sometimes.
For some reason, I decided to go to the lecture that day, there was something about me that just never really wants to give in, even if I openly say that I do, I really don’t think my body ever could, it never had done before and it wasn’t prepared to start then, it had gotten me through all the hard times and it was about to again, I got up and went to the lecture…and felt better for doing so because I hadn’t given up and ran away, I went head first into the pit.
Going for a walk about the town by myself actually would calm me down a lot, a good wander always made me happy…maybe because I was always in control of where I would go and I would have a good chance to have a think about what had happened that had caused me to go for the walk in the first place. Doing this method would play a vital role in my third year at University but that comes much later.
People on my course were nice, there was never any denying that for me but I would still get too afraid to approach and get to know people, the sheer number of them all intimidated me I guess, that and I would always try to be perfect and have everyone like me which I now see was the wrong thing to do, if only I could go back as I am now…who knows or at least in my head…things would have been different.
The whole time I had stayed at Storthes in autumn, there was one thing that had always annoyed me…to a great end, there was one room in our dorm that had always been quiet…too quiet and I would always wonder if there was someone in there? I would think this because when the flat was empty and quiet on some days…I would hear the odd strange noise and whimper that would creep me out to no end…it would sometimes sound like someone was crying or calling out for help with sounds…not words and to this day, I never did find out what it was, whether it was a live person in another flat above me or even a spirit on the other side, I have no idea but I did feel sorry for it because at times, I wanted to call out for help as well, I felt it’s pain.
Never really not making a sound, not even a whisper, I eventually thought that the accommodation just didn’t sell the room for whatever reason but of course I was wrong because one day shortly after that thought, someone moved into it, making our flat full and what I said about the room being quiet drastically changed to be the loudest..immediately.
Now don’t get me wrong, the guy himself was nice, shy but he was nice, however I can not pretend that his…actions once he was inside his room didn’t half annoy me for the remainder of the year. One thing I guess would be the screaming and shouting I would always hear at night time, I think he would always play online games in his room as he always sounded like he was shouting either at the game or someone over a headset, I can still remember it like it happened yesterday, the haunting shrieks that still send shivers down my spine.
I also remember another time one night when my girlfriend stayed over for the night, we were fast asleep in bed when at about 3 in the morning, I heard a scream of terror that woke me up, I sat up in my bed and sighed, I knew who it was and I couldn’t believe that he would be playing games at this time in the morning but normally, I’d just ignore it but because Emma was with me, I wasn’t going to let it go and as the screams continued, I told Emma that I was going to go and have a look. She was nervous about the whole thing but i told her that things would be fine, I always did feel better and confident around her.
Stepping out into the hallway, I noticed that the rest of my flatmates had also been woken up by the strange sounds and they asked me to knock on his door, which I did. I knocked loudly and called out his name to which I didn’t get a response…straight away but after he screamed a bit more, I locked louder and yelled his name before I heard a bang, I thought he had either banged his head on something or he had fallen out of his bed but to which he finally responded by saying.
Feeling annoyed, I sighed and went back to my room, feeling annoyed about the whole thing. Along with that, I remember hearing stomping around in his room as well, quite often as well, it always sounded like he was walking about in a circle all the time, yelling and sounding furious…it would actually get quite concerning, I would always wonder what would happen if our flat got complained about because of the noise, the walls weren’t that thick and you could always hear what your next door neighbor was doing but this guy was THREE doors down from me and I could hear him, like he was in MY ROOM! Listening to this racket on a daily basis can really get to a guy and all the walks in the woods couldn’t make up for that, what can I say..I love nature, having grown up in the Yorkshire Dales and all but even that couldn’t distract me from the screams and it didn’t help being on the site of an abandoned Mental Institute.
Speaking of my new flatmate, the rest of us decided to take him out for some drinks, so we could have a chance to properly get to know him but he was reluctant about this and I could remember how reluctant I felt about the first time I went out as a first year, it was a terrifying yet exciting event and although it didn’t end well, I was happy that I didn’t chicken out, I mean, i wouldn’t forgive myself if I spent all three years in my room or the library, cowering in fear and not even try and eventually he also agreed to give clubbing a go, so of into Huddersfield we went, we would grab the horrible Double Decker bus from Storthes Hall and set off into town for a club.
At first, it looked like things were going well, we all grabbed drinks and set about the place, having a good old jolly up and I was happy that I was a little bit more confident in what I was doing now, I still had a ways to go but it was a step forward in the right direction. However, things soon got a bit weird for us as I stuck by our new flatmate to make sure he was ok, we found a table and sat down for a talk and to relax before going back into the midst of the drunken mass that was the student population when all of a sudden, a woman approached our table and said that she knew our flatmate, somehow? and that she wanted to have a drink with him as well as a chat, I mean I know it was University and all and that there was a lot of people there so she could have been telling the truth so with that and we all thought that she was just a friend so we didn’t say anything against it but leaving him alone with her was a big mistake as five minutes later, I wandered back and saw him sat in his seat, crying and looking like he wished a hole appeared beneath him and swallowed him whole, what had happened to him?
It turns out that this woman had told him that she was a helper on his course and apparently, I think she might have tried to kiss him which I don’t think he liked as he wanted to go back to the flat straight after that, which we all did but she came back when we were outside and said that she would see him again… the bus ride was a bit awkward as we tried to calm him down and he went straight to his room as soon as we got back to the Student Village, you know, I never did ask him after that if he did see her after that or not, I don’t even know if she was really a helper on his course or just some desperate woman in her late 40’s, regardless…the whole event was a bit creepy for my liking.
None the less, as far as I can remember, that was the one and only time he ever went out clubbing with us and apart from one film night and another game night, I never really saw him out of the kitchen, a shame but it did show me that there really were people that were even more scared of being at University and socializing with other people then I was, so maybe, there was hope or there was in my head at least.