Adulting - nearly

The combination of being home from university for the summer and the reflective time of Tisha b'av has made student blogger Orli West look into the future...

July 27, 2018 12:38

I’m going to be honest with you guys; this is the third week in a row that I’ve had writers block. By which I mean that I sit in front of my laptop with absolutely no idea what to write for these articles, and therefore get stressed and start getting annoyed over absolutely nothing. As I’m sure is the case with most people, my best articles are written when I’m writing about things I care about, and I have spoken about almost everything I care most about in these articles; speaking up about antisemitism and the stigma of mental health, why volunteering is so important to me, and the pivotal shifts in my identity as I’ve gotten older. 

Speaking of the latter, it has recently hit me (thanks to being home from uni for the summer, many photos of people graduating, four weeks volunteering in a school that I’d give anything to work at, and my 20th birthday only a few days away) that I am on my way to becoming a fully-fledged, trademarked Adult. Last Saturday was Tisha B’Av, a time for fasting, healing and reflection; for me however, it isn’t Jewish history I have been recently reflecting on but instead, my university experiences and what lies ahead of me in the next year. 

For some people, this time away from uni would only cause greater excitement for heading into the next academic year; a year left of university on a course they love, a life full of prospects ahead of them, a great support system to catch them should they fall. Yet, for me, the idea of standing on an invisible line with adult on the other side… that terrifies me. 

Don’t get me wrong; although I love being home, the idea of going back to uni for the next year, despite having a 10,000 word dissertation and a load of stress, actually does fill me with excitement rather than fear. I live in a brilliant city with a fantastic group of friends and a great religious community, I am on committees for societies I am so passionate about, and I love my degree. But the concept of anything further than graduation truly makes me want to run for the hills.  

I think all of us, when we’re early teenagers, wish to grow up. I remember longing for the freedom of being 18 and going to uni, with the ability to eat what I want, when I want - whether that’s a proper meal at a normal time or rice and tomato soup at 11pm because that’s all I have in the house. Being able to get drunk and skip lectures, if that’s what I wanted, or sleep until mid-afternoon if I fancied. In reality, although I have done all of those things, they aren’t the things that have defined the two years I’ve been an ‘adult’, or defined my last two years at university. I was told many a time when I began university that if I blinked, I would miss it. And having the last few weeks out of my usual timetable, I’ve realised that without my usual support system of lectures, JSOC Friday nights and having my little uni family around me, it feels like I’ve not even blinked and I’m missing it!

Before long I’ll no doubt be reminiscing with my grandchildren about what university was like in my day and how you only had to pay a paltry £9250 for tuition fees. And then it will be their turn to worry about moving back home, finding a job, building a career, trying to buy a house they can afford, trying settle down. Not that I’m concerned about ANY of those things… 

Maybe growing up isn’t so great after all!


Orli West is in her second year at Birmingham University where she is studying Education.

July 27, 2018 12:38

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