There is a song by Circa Waves that expresses thoughts on flying through your best days. It is vitally important to look back on them and feel a warm and fuzzy sensation- as if you’ve just swallowed a barbecued caterpillar.
Never forget the good times, the memories.
Recently, I attended the last-ever reunion event for MMU Cheshire in Crewe. It was observed beautifully with plenty of laughter, liquor and lamenting. The outpouring of emotion as the lights went up for the final time was incredible. People really cared. This was the best times of their life and it is to be taken away forever. What cannot ever leave are the memories, the jokes and the achievements from the campus.
It is so important to realise that going to university is a massive decision. It changes lives. It alters states. It creates lifelong bonds. I hope, one day, to return to Crewe an old man with my old housemates present there too. A reunion for the ages. Okay, so the student union is to be bulldozed or replaced by whatever but- and it’s a Khabib Nurmagamedov of a butt- what we achieve in life echoes throughout eternity.
It’s thanks to MMUC that I made friends who I hope to count on for life, I achieved what people back home thought impossible and triumphantly returned home to grey and grisly Grimsby with a degree. The system is wrong, the campus is to be closed and as much of a travesty as that is, the good times will keep rolling for as long as Crewe is remembered.
I’ll admit, when I got my place at the uni, I saw it was based in Crewe and thought: “I know that place has trains and a football team that always beats mine, but what can it actually offer?”. I’ll tell you what it offered- two of the greatest drinking venues on the planet (no exaggeration), the three greatest years of my life and meeting loads of amazing people that gave experiences, banter and soul to the stew of studentville.
After the final Oldboys event, the Saturday night, the lights went up bathing the old SU in a bright and crystal clear atmosphere of nostalgia. The tears began to flow. The floor, forever slippery and sticky with the trickle of treacly alcohol, was the dancefloor of dreams. To be honest, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than in the middle of a sweaty club while Mr Brightside comes on, everyone for some reason starts swinging their tops over the head and completely lose themselves in the moment, enjoying the full-throttle glory of coming out of your cage, doing just fine.
I could write all the good times down and would fill several A4 pads with my boring, semi-incoherent ramblings of drunken antics, studies and crazy moments but the pages would be smudged with tears of joy.
Let’s not get too sentimental. It was difficult at times, going through heartaches and headaches with deadlines and trainlines to boot. On occasion it made you feel trapped, scared, stressed and proud all at the same time and this should be remembered just as fondly as me falling over my own feet in Box or me blagging my way through a creative writing presentation when I hadn’t done a single bit of the required research (stay in school, don’t be like me).
The emotional conclusion of this generation of MMUC can never be understated. There were people hugging everyone, the tears rolling into puddles of eternal youth.
The people who made it so special know who they are.
As Gary Barlow wrote- “Neeeeever, forget where you’re coming from.”
I guess the point to take away from this sniffly, sentimental song-and-dance is this: try and live a life without regret, without fear and always…ALWAYS…make sure you remember the great moments, the happy times and don’t dwell on what should have been.
I would give that advice to any future student, including my own young nieces. If they want to better their lives and do the student experience then go for it.
Never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough.
Students and prospective undergraduates everywhere: GO FOR IT. ENJOY IT.
When it’s over, as we recently discovered, it all hits you at once and it really is over.