Today is my first full day back in my parents’ house. I moved out of my student house yesterday, the rented Victorian terraced house in Exeter, Devon, with its horrible wallpaper and vermin problem and lovely housemates that has been my home for almost a year.
Graduand life, the time in flux between finishing my degree and graduating, was strange. Eventually the novelty of day drinking and spontaneous trips to the nearby coastal town of Exmouth wore off and people started drifting back to their hometowns to earn money, complete internships, and do other such productive things with their newfound free time. However, during this period, I was rejected by all the jobs I applied for, and instead became hooked on Love Island, acquired some more piercings, and cut my own hair. Was this my version of a quarter life crisis? Perhaps. Not that extreme, you may think. However, I also made a LinkedIn account, and if that’s not the beginning of the end then I don’t know what is.
And then I graduated. My cap didn’t fit, I went the wrong way when I got on stage in front of an auditorium full of people, and I hit 25k steps running between campus and town, trying to adequately split my time between my family and my friends who were also graduating that day. But it was a good day, a great day, a fleeting day. I was a graduate, and then I was moving home, and then what?
My things are still in suitcases and plastic boxes and bin bags and I can’t find any of my pants. The heatwave has broken and it keeps raining, torrential. Things are changing, but not quite. I’m a different person to who I was when I was 18 and left this house to go to university, but it’s the same bedroom and the same house and the same town. I’m not quite sure how to exist here anymore; I don’t fit in the space that I left behind. So I suppose that’s what the next few months are about: carving out a new space here, one that fits. And getting a job, too, I guess.