This will be my first official article of the new university term, and my first as an official second year student, and as such I thought I would theme this one in regards to the tedious transition from professional procrastinator to amateur professional in whichever field you so desire.
Arriving back at the student stomping ground was trippy at first, but what’s more perplexing is how swiftly the mind resets itself to the default study setting – if only the study setting was true to its title and was conducive to a kick start reactivation of the dusty archives of knowledge, a not-s0-familiar friend.
Upon arrival at the new house – how refreshing it feels, might I add, to be distanced from the dirty dish-infested communal kitchen and riotous corridors of the halls (how I miss them so) – my first thought naturally was how in John Goodman’s trousers was I supposed to fit all my baggage into such a confined space? The bed itself dwarfs any other item of furniture in the bedroom I chose (being the only one downstairs meaning I won’t run the risk of a drunken tumble) and leaves me torn between the prospect of luxurious hibernation from my studies or teasing my lethargic limbs while I beaver away at the keypad. The fact that I’m currently blighted by an overwhelming sense of migration drain is no aid to my listing concentration under the screen’s merciless glow.
Soon after the hysterical ordeal of unpacking and arranging the treasure trove of trivial tat I burdened myself with into the choked cell I now inhabit I begin to unwind and soon come to the understanding that this matchbox of a bedroom isn’t as bad as my critical first judgement insisted. With posters tacked, cobwebs cleared and various electrical appliances finally untangled and plugged in I savour the silence – that is the vacuum of silence located in the core of my brain, which I seldom manage to crawl into after the raging inferno of life’s priorities filters into the innocuous background.
Around me there is no hope of silence. The Sky-blessed television set raves on about must-have cleaning products and car insurance, vegetable oil sizzles and spits as a hungover housemate flings another slice of bacon into the pan and the reverberations from next-door’s volatile subwoofer remind my eardrums that peace is merely a long lost cousin, ten times removed. Yes. Home sweet home. After reluctantly living at the family fortress over a summer awash with work and bereft of the crazy comfort of clubbing and alcohol-induced paralysis it feels rejuvenating to once again be engulfed in the throes of student living.
What immediately comes rushing back to dominate my routine is the weakness of my constitution to uphold it. The first few days of acclimatising to my snug semi-attached abode has casually incorporated intense sessions of Call of Duty on the X-Box (I kid myself that I never have the chance to game and that now is the time to exercise my right to gun down virtual terrorists like Rambo) and epic battles against my conscious state of mind to stay awake (leading the scoreboard like Usain Bolt on steroids is my sleeping addiction). The resolve of your average wannabe whizz kid is seemingly inconsequential when it comes to booting up the brainwaves after months of drone-like drudgery and therapeutic benders with your best friends.
But before long reality dawns on this apathetic academic and gets the ungainly heart pumping blood that previously trickled along the arteries like a calm mountain spring. You start to notice important objects and mull over nauseating concepts that you thought only existed in adult lives you could perpetually fend off with your youth. Bills of all kinds that are more likely to give you migraines than financial benefits, broken washing machines that leak mouldy water and taps that just won’t turn off no matter how hard you wrench them – all these things circulate and collide while you grope for solutions to each nut-busting dilemma. The glutinous monster of reality feverishly starts to hoard irritating issues to drive you stir-crazy with; the mounting priorities impact on the erstwhile liberal attitude you espoused like an autocratic government in an underdeveloped country. Our lounging liberty mutates into a melting pot of mundane mayhem.
Nevertheless, you gradually come to accept the pestilence of these priorities and intermittently wriggle back to the couch and find your hands attaching to the television remote or games console controller like they had been deprived of the vital joy of aimlessly pushing buttons for an eternity. The random carnival of visual stimulation performs its captivating charade for your benumbed viewing pleasure and you begin to interface with the idiot box once more in the easiest entertainment possible, besides playing pong or watching the procession of ragtag estate occupants outside the window.
The latency of one’s landlord and lugubrious labours of dishwashing and erasing the mess from the night before notwithstanding, you embrace the student existence like a hot shower after sleep. It’s what you signed on for, all the worry, arguments, that itchy feeling in your eyes after a wholesome night’s worth of booze, and you’ll be damned if you regret it. To be honest, you’ll be damned if you enjoy it, it’s that much of a scandalous lifestyle you’d be lucky to find yourself donning a halo at the end of the journey. Right now, I’m about to crack open a frosty bottle of cider, reacquaint my backside with the nuzzling cushions of the couch and empty some clips into imaginary bad guys on the X-Box. So much for academic rehab!