The City and the Northern Girl #16

Stop and smell the cocktails…

I’m feeling nostalgic. It usually happens around this time of year, as everyone moves on with their lives, usually aboard the education train, and takes their next step forward. This year was no
different, as I experienced a mix of emotions ranging from sad to overbearing excitement. Why sad? Well I’ll be honest – I don’t feel like a normal student. I might not be typically nostalgic,
longing to repeat my high school days, but I’m nostalgic about my carefree days of now. The ones I’m missing out on in favour for a quiet night in with a bottle of wine and a girly gossip or returning home to work 50 hours a week just to pay the rent. So I made a decision early last week to embrace my next year, as it will be my last at Queen Mary (unless someone decides to give me thousands of pounds to do a Masters… I wouldn’t say no). But then something my Mum said last week struck a chord: “Becky, you really don’t realise what you’ve achieved this year, do you”.

Well no, I don’t. Life constantly feels stuck on fast forward, meaning that half the time it passes us by without us really noticing. Especially as you get older (it’s July already guys, I feel sick at the thought). But let me ask you this. Just stop a minute and think back to where you were this time last year – Timehop might help – then look at where you are right this minute. Okay, so I might be just sat at my kitchen table typing this column but I’m typing my last column as ‘the Northern girl’ (sob) before the end of July sees my official handover as CUB Editor in Chief. Not too shabby right? And it’s not just me. I have friends teaching English in Thailand, working in the Head Office at Kurt Geiger, inter-railing around Europe and interning at the Ministry of Defence. And this time next year, it’ll be the day of our graduation results. Another leap of achievement.

I dare you to make a list. A list of everything you’ve achieved in the last year – and trust me you’ll be surprised. Or if you’re feeling lazy, scroll down your Instagram. I’ve travelled abroad, gone through a break up, conquered my fear of public speaking, discovered Be@One cocktails, finally visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour (twice) and fallen in love again. And that’s not even half. I might feel like I’m wasting my, supposedly carefree, university years when I’m lying in bed having a Netflix marathon in my room but then I see pictures of me smiling like a maniac in front of the Trevi Fountain and I remember just how much I have ticked off my ‘bucket-list’.

One of my friends tweeted last week: “It’s literally just dawned on me how important it is to have love in your life….like, success with no one to share it with is empty”. I couldn’t agree more (I’m sorry but preaching deep and meaningful advice comes hand in hand with nostalgia). Surround yourself with family, friends and loved ones. Make the most of their company. Share and celebrate each others successes, even if that is in the form of a homemade Sunday dinner for five instead of a night out in Soho. Each to their own, I say.

I might be just over halfway through my degree but I already know I’m going to count it as three of the best, and most productive, years of my life (Netflix marathon included).

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