I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t look forward to summer, particularly during the assessment period. When we’re tearing our hair out over referencing, revision and that word count which (despite our best efforts) is still too high, summer appears to be the only light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Yet when we emerge blinking into this stark brightness, what appears doesn’t always match our expectations. After struggling home with god knows how many books, clothes and all the rubbish we’ve accumulated during the year, it can feel a little anti-climactic.
Most students would agree that home and university life are very different, and that it is easy to miss one whilst being part of the other. It can be difficult re-adjusting to the way things are run at home after living such an independent lifestyle. You’re back to having to inform people when you’re going out, and conforming to set mealtimes when really, you shudder at the idea of eating at 6 PM.
‘It’s nice to know I don’t have to worry about running out of food’
Of course, it’s great being back at home, in a place that is familiar and comfortable. It’s nice to know I don’t have to worry about running out of food, or about having to buy a Boots meal deal because I accidentally ate my sandwich at 11AM. But when we all go back home, we have to say goodbye to our housemates, course mates and other uni friends for a while. It is difficult not to miss the people who had our back when we were having a bit of a crisis, or who we binged through several Netflix series with. What is great about uni halls and private accommodation is that you only have to go up a few flights of stairs, down the corridor or even next door to have a chat with someone. To participate in a series binge at home, one or more people will have to do a bit of travelling which can be a little more time-consuming, depending on how far away they are.
What I have begun to miss in particular is the campus itself. The natural beauty of University Park was one of the many things that drew me to UoN. At an open day, I fell in love with the vibrant, varied architecture and leafy, nature-infused surroundings. I remember arriving on campus via East Entrance, and walking up a large path lined with gorgeous trees in blossom. It was a sight that I felt could not be outdone by anything else.
‘The city of Nottingham, though small, is a vibrant place thrumming with life’
The city of Nottingham, though small, is a vibrant place thrumming with life. Being able to hop on a bus for a mere five to ten minute journey into the centre is certainly something I shall miss. If you live on the outskirts of a big city like London, Manchester or Birmingham, getting into the centre can be a much bigger hassle. In Nottingham, everything feels close and accessible. If you have uni during the day, it’s still possible to nip into town later on before all the stores shut.
Likewise, nights out are easy to get to, with fully accessible transport that also won’t break your bank account- unless you go totally wild. I already miss piling onto a bus or into an uber with my mates and heading out to Rock City for a boogie.
Countless people say your university years are some of the best years of your life. This may be something of an overstatement, because we still have so much of our lives to live, but we wouldn’t miss it after we left if we didn’t enjoy it at all. And yet, summer can also be an amazing time. For one thing, with all the extra free time, you can finally concentrate on paying back some of that overdraft you may have fallen into last term by getting a job. For another, you can finally hang out with your friends at home who you haven’t seen in what feels like forever. If you’re a music fan, summer also brings with it a great variety of festivals, from the small and local ones to the more famous Glastonbury and Leeds/Reading festivals.
However much or little you may miss uni, you can also have an amazing summer. So make the most of it, because it doesn’t last forever.