Thoughts On Returning To Cambridge

Thoughts On Returning To Cambridge

I’m now sort of back in Cambridge. I say sort of, because while I’m here, the vast majority of my stuff is not. And I bring an embarrassingly huge amount of stuff to uni, much of it food-related; I couldn’t really tell you what the rest of it is, because I’ve got no idea. My parents are bringing all of that tomorrow in the car, but today I came up on the train with a suitcase of clothes, so that I could get on with settling in.

Well, settling in as much as one can without any cooking utensils, cutlery, or indeed food. It’s going well…

My room this year is in a much more modern building, and lacks a lot of the ‘character’ that the main Newnham buildings have. It’s also smaller than the rooms I’ve lived in for the last two years, which were unreasonably huge for student accommodation, and is noticeably lacking in drawers. Seriously. No drawers. I’ve been forced to seek interesting alternatives for storing socks.

However, despite being less immediately attractive, I’m hoping that this room can be what the others weren’t: a productive, positive study space. With any luck, the smaller size will mean it’s easy for me to keep tidy, too, even when depression or pain would otherwise stop me. The lack of storage might make that a challenge, but at least I no longer have quite so many square feet of floor to cover in stuff.

This building is set up as a series of two-person flats, which means for the first time, I’ve got a flatmate. She isn’t here yet, and I know nothing about her beyond her name — not even what subject she’s doing, although I’m going to go and look at the board later that has pictures of all the freshers in the hope that it’ll tell me. We share a kitchen, bathroom, and a sort of communal hallway area, so it’ll be more personal than living on a corridor with about fourteen other people. I’m just hoping we get on, and have personalities that vaguely mesh, because if she’s a loud partying type, things could get awkward…

I’ve laid claim to a certain amount of the flat, though, and in some ways she’s lucky to have me: I’m bringing a nice kettle, a soft bath mat, and a good washing up brush. You don’t realise how much you miss these things until you don’t have them, and I’ve had two years of wet feet getting out of the shower and finding only cold floor, so I decided to fix that.

I’m excited to only share my bathroom and kitchen with one person, to be honest. I won’t get poisoned by people cooking gluten-filled food everywhere! (Hopefully — I’ll have to talk to my flatmate about this when she arrives.) I won’t encounter couples having sex in the next cubicle while I’m showering! (Please, never again.)

Am I just talking about my accommodation because I’m ignoring how I actually feel about being back in Cambridge? Well, sort of. Mostly because I don’t know how I feel.

I’ve been anxious as anything all week, to the point of insomnia and stress-baking. I mean, on the plus side I now have a lot of cupcakes to share in an attempt to befriend freshers, but going to bed at midnight only to find I was still awake at four thirty wasn’t much fun.

Yet, academically speaking, I’d mostly got past my anxiety. The thought of doing work no longer made me want to vomit, so I’m clearly in a better place than I was six months ago. There were things to look forward to that almost outweighed the fear. But no matter how much I convinced myself that logically, there was no reason to panic, my body just didn’t get the memo. My muscles couldn’t relax, and my stomach’s been in knots for days.

With luck, now that I’m here and the period of anticipation is over, that’ll fade and I’ll be able to start stressing about things like work instead. (Kidding.) I’ve found a few things to keep me positive so far, like the fact that there’s a Pokestop within range of my room so that after a few days here, I’ll probably be set for life in terms of Pokeballs. And I’ve got an armchair in my room, which I’ve positioned next to the bookshelf and windows so that it can be a comfortable reading nook. Plus, full WiFi signal in my flat: excellent news.

And, most excitingly of all, the laundry room in this building? Is free. Gone are the days of painstakingly saving up all my pound coins and 20ps because those are the only coins the other machines would accept! Gone are the days of stressing about whether there were enough clothes in a wash to make it worth the money! I can wash EVERYTHING. WHENEVER I WANT.

I may be a little bit too pleased about this discovery, but given that my flat is almost immediately next to the laundry room, this was something I quickly discovered and it made me far too happy.

Hopefully, things like this will carry me through the initial period of anxiety as I try and settle in to uni life, and then by the time the work stress kicks in, I’ll have other good things to focus on, like friends and societies. I mean, I’m hoping the work stress itself will be reasonably manageable, but I’m anticipating the worst just in case. That way I’ll either be right or pleasantly surprised.

I haven’t shared any pictures of my room in this post because without any of my stuff in it, it doesn’t look all that interesting. Once I’ve got my books and posters and so on, I’ll be sure to share it with you — and by that time I’ll have my computer too, so I won’t be blogging from my tablet.

See you then!

One thought on “Thoughts On Returning To Cambridge

  1. Miriam, good luck this year. I’ve seen many of your videos and even tried to read some of your poems. And I think you’ll be fine as long as you can just relax and slow your brain down just a tad. Definitely keep up the HEMA. Or maybe try fencing. Keep drinking tea. And eat blueberries. hope to hear or read some news soon.
    Take care

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