As I walked into my old school library, my whole function turned to automatic, calculating the shortest route to the desk without meeting human contact. We kept the small talk small and I received my envelope in an increasingly violent, shaking hand. I passed some friends without saying hello in fear of drowning in a conversation of terror about what demons lied await for me under the glued flap. Inside, in the form of some serif lettering, was the judgement of my future. And this was the moment where I would destroy the raising tension with a sharp rip and wide eyes.
I’m going to London in September to study Physics at university. That’s what my envelope carrying my A-level results said a week ago. I got into my firm choice and upon opening was, needless to say, overjoyed. And I’m actually going to London! I don’t think I quite realised the truth of all this moving away until my grades confirmed it. Results day morning was as horrific as ever, and I wanted to play The Zuton’s “Pressure Point” just to torment myself because I thought the irony was funny (I didn’t, of course). But once those sheets of paper had been thoroughly read, and I realised that I had exceeded my conditional offer, all that stress died and only the most obvious glee absorbed me. Finally, this thing we’ve all been talking about is actually going to happen!
On top of all this elation, however, is a deep set fear of having to do life on my own. I appreciate we cope, we make friends, we have support and contact still, but it’s a big step from being a very loved member of a family household in a small city, to a very alone, tiny person in a huge city. I’m incredibly excited, but I can’t help feeling afraid too. It will be an unimaginable adventure no matter what happens and there is no better time than now. But I have no doubt that the first few weeks of living entirely alone, of which I’ve experienced very little of in the past, are going to be quite hard. And I don’t think I’m ashamed to admit that.
That’s all I have to say today. If you live in London, shout me some places you recommend me going to! Otherwise, tell me a bit about your first year away from home. Everyone has completely different stories, so I’m interested. Well done to anyone who has survived a-levels and the entirety of school life! It is a bit of a feat!