The Return to LiFTS…

                                                           Ashleigh Poole.

It took nineteen months of being a University of Essex graduate before the longing to come back stole my every second thought. Nineteen months of wishing I had stayed for the Wild Writing MA programme, nineteen months of missing the way the squares tend to vibrate with happiness as soon as the sun begins to shine, nineteen months of reminiscing over the senseless adventures taken during my three years at University of Essex and regretting the decision to stop them right there. After nineteen months, I couldn’t stay away.

So here I am, one week into a six month internship working alongside my favourite people in my favourite department. Pinch me – am I dreaming? My new role is to inspire and encourage people from all walks of life, from all areas of the country, and with all different types of talents, to apply for a life-changing educational journey within the LiFTS department. I have been told countless times that my love for the campus and for my degree subject, Creative Writing, radiates as I speak, so my fingers are tightly crossed for lots of new applications to flood in as a result of my ideas.

I have already been asked, ‘how does it feel to be back at the university?’ My answer is that it feels simply delightful. I can no longer stay up all night dancing in Sub Zero on a Wednesday, however the sense of accomplishment that has come with this transition from student to staff member has exposed what I must have been searching for during these past nineteen months. What I had recognised as graduate heartache was in fact just evolution into a real adult – a super-depressing thought. Being an undergraduate was the most fun I’ve ever had, but I am more than ready for real life responsibilities. I know this because seeing the women’s football team drunk at 5:30pm as I leave work made me smile with nostalgia but I didn’t wish to be them.

I sent a draft of this blog post to my boss and he told me I sounded much too starry-eyed and should add some negatives associated with working at University of Essex; the only downside I can currently think of is that I had planned to be healthy and eat soup every day, and after five days I am entirely sick of soup.

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Picture credit: Ashleigh Poole

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