May 11, 2020, by Issy
A letter to my friends in their final year.
Do you remember your first day at Nottingham? I do. Saturday 23rd September 2017. Moving into Cripps Hall, being so nervous I couldn’t eat anything on the drive up from London, but somehow it dissipated until that same day, we were up all night, 7 of us crowded into a single room, laughing about a random oddly placed fire escape in said room. Little did we know of what was to come, eh? I think that was when I knew that, despite my anxieties, I would come to love the people I would meet, for your diversity, spirit, ingenuity and talent, and it would be you which made me love university so much.
Sure, some of you I didn’t meet that first day, week, month or even year of university, but trust me, my university experience would not have been the same without each and every one of you shaping it into what it became. From the people I have literally known since day 1, to housemates and people from societies, to people I met working as an ambassador, I think I’ll find it hard to forget you. And no, Nottingham won’t be the same without you. It can’t be.
Even though I’m also a third year, it’s not my final year here, like it is for you. And I know, some of you arent 3rd year due to the nature of your own courses – you’re 4th years, 5th years, masters, PhD students – the list goes on – but 2020 is your final year all the same. Once you’ve handed in your dissertation, that’s it. My course has another two years, for which I am immensely grateful, but also so devastated that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to you, it was cut so short: the complete opposite of that first day, when you all suddenly appeared in my life. Now, it feels like you’ve all suddenly disappeared. Sure, we have social media, video chat, the promise that one day things will return to ‘normal’, but it won’t be normal, because you all won’t be here, at uni.
I’ll miss seeing you on campus, the assurances we would meet for coffee sometime – even if we never did, it was the thought that counted. I’ll miss making extravagant movie night plans when it would just end up us in blankets falling asleep 10 minutes into the film. I’ll miss falling asleep at your house when I’m too tired to walk home myself after a night out, the walks around the lake, debriefs of all the latest relationship drama which seems to be even more unpredictable than the situation we currently find ourselves in. And, I’ll admit it, I’ll even miss the late night cramming sessions the night before an exam in some corner of the library, and the mutual comforting and pep-talks after a particularly tough exam.
I’ll be there at your graduation (because it WILL happen!) cheering you on, and you can always have my sofa to crash on if you ever come to visit us still in Nottingham. You can still come to socials, watch sports teams play, go to Mooch, ‘live the uni life’ as it were. Maybe you will even end up getting a job here – wouldn’t that be awesome?! You’d have to put up with me still living life as a stressed uni student though, so be warned..!
And I’m not naïve, I know that some of you, unfortunately, I will probably never see again. And that’s not because I’m trying not to, far from it, it’s just our lives will be so busy that we won’t cross paths. And that’s okay – it’s life, it would happen anyway, wouldn’t it? We are lucky that we live in the age of social media, however. I’ll see you reach those milestones we talked about and vice versa. We will stay in touch, even if not actively, we will still be a smiling face on a newsfeed, or a name in the comments. I don’t think we will forget eachother.
Thank you for everything you have done to make my uni experience so far as brilliant as it has. Being there to support me through the low times I had, and celebrating my better moments alongside me. Letting me support you through your own hardships, and again, celebrate alongside you when you achieved your goals. Thank you for the fun, the laughter, the tears, the joy. You’ve made me who I am today, shaped me to be the best me I can be. And most of all, thank you for being you. You’ll do great, wherever life takes you, and who knows, there’s always post grad degrees to do if you just can’t get enough of us here in Nottingham!
Very best wishes for your future, Class of 2020.