The last week before I left for University was exciting and scary. My parents where helping me pack up my things and get ready for the move, my Dad had borrowed a van from his work. I would be leaving my car behind since there was nowhere to park at my Uni Halls. Instead I’d be taking a push bike with me, they say you can never forget how to ride a bike, I hadn’t used mine for about 6 years, I was pretty shaky.
So without my car it’s not like I could head back to Somerset any time I felt like it. I was happy however for any of my friends to come visit me. Katy hadn’t yet passed her driving test, but I knew it was just a matter of time, it sucked that we couldn’t really plan when we would see each other next.
Peter and Simon would miss me too, they all pooled together to give me some leaving presents that were really cool. Before I departed I had a shoebox full of memories. Some photos from our summer together, some love notes from Katy and most surprisingly a scrap book/diary that Katy had put together for me. In it was every memorable date we had shared, the first kisses, the first I love you, the first sleep over and so much more. Perhaps my favourite thing was from Katy and Paul, it was another mix tape. They had gotten together and decided to record a goodbye message, ending with a perfect rendition of Sonny and Cher’s I got you babe. It was hilarious and they forgot the words half way through, it put a lump in my throat to think that I’d be moving to a scary unknown place where I didn’t know anyone and I had such amazing friends here already.
The rest of my friends were in exactly the same situation as myself, all eagerly awaiting the start of University, all equally aware of the challenges of starting over in new and unknown places. Only one person in our group of college friends would be going to the same University as me, and we had grown a bit more distant over the summer, just like me she was fighting her own personal battles, it was just a case of growing apart, but we’d still see each other from time to time.
It was hard not knowing when I would next be home, and just as hard to figure out if I even wanted to come back. Although my parents were coping rather well by now, I still didn’t feel truly accepted, I needed the freedom of being absent from home. On the other hand there were people I didn’t want to leave behind, but rather than plan to come back, I hoped that they would visit me. This was probably a big mistake on my part, I was leaving for an indeterminate amount of time, with no promise to return to the woman I love and with no promise from her for when she’d visit me. I don’t know why I wasn’t worried about that, she was.
Eventually I was all packed up, my course was due to start at the end of September and I hit the road with my parents, we got everything unpacked and they waited to make sure I was settled in OK, and then they left. For the first time I was out on my own. That first week at University I didn’t meet many people beyond the guys in my Halls that I shared the kitchen with. It would be a couple weeks before I started to make friends, a few more weeks before I got drunk for the first time and about a month before I would end my relationship with Katy.