Gilby’s Guidance #7

 How to Freak Out a five-year old. 

Image: Petras Gagilas.
Image: Petras Gagilas.

With an extra year of home comforts under my belt than the average uni-goer, when I ventured into my second year I had the decision of whether to continue down the road of home cooked meals and daily bubble baths or to go it alone and start being a ‘real’ student. I would like to think that I was unswayed by the abundance of opinions I received on my habitation choices, but I can’t help but wonder how wimpy I might have had the potential to be. Deciding to take the plunge in to proper, real life independence was daunting but the fear of missing out was far more terrifying than the fear of doing my own washing up.

I think it took my parents up until they had my suitcases in the boot of their car to believe that I was actually fleeing the nest. When the idea of me moving out first came up it was only used as a tactic in the midst of arguments. ‘Don’t expect any phone calls from me next year’ and ‘I’ll be glad to see the back of you’, were some of the less offensive lines that got thrown around. Being the first child to leave put an extra strain on the inevitability of it happening. My house was found and deposits were paid but still I could feel a hopefulness that I would change my mind and the household would not be a man down.

The bedroom of my teenage years had been nurtured and loved with all of my adolescent creativity. A place of privacy in my house was as near to heaven as I could ever comprehend and giving that up to live in a flat with three other girls was something that I was going to need easing in to. Perhaps the worst way I went about taking the easiest route to finding my new safe haven was offering to have the box room of the flat. I went to sleep every night working out how much Nandos I could afford with the money I’d be saving, yet nightmares of smaller-than-single beds and shoes piled high on top of essays would not leave me be.

The ever shrinking room of my nightmares made packing up my perfectly placed belongings even more heart wrenching. Half my clothes, shoes and scatter cushions were left behind and told that I would be coming back for them if there was ever an occasion where they were especially needed. However, enough of my unnecessary possessions were stuffed in bin liners to make my five year old sister ask, ‘Will I see you ever again?’

The emotional highs and lows that come with moving out for the first time make it seem like it’s a right of passage that you never turn back from. It’s hard to imagine that in the flash that we are finished with our degrees, the probability of returning back to our family home is more than likely. So my answer to my sister was an undeniable but reluctant ‘yes’. I’ll probably be back before she has even realised I’m gone.

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