Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad
I’m 22 years old. I have returned to Leeds to do my fourth year of study after spending a year in Munich, and I feel old. Very old. A gap year and being on a four-year undergraduate course makes me full 4 years older than most of the freshers. The day I first came to Leeds now feels like a distant memory and the end of my degree and subsequent job hunt is now in sight.
I remember my freshers’ week in first year surprisingly well. I pretty much did what every other fresher did: party, get drunk on copious amounts of alcohol, pass out in bed at 5am, wake up at 2pm and be ready to do it all over again. “I’m invincible! I can party whenever I want, drink as much as I want and not get hungover!”
As I discovered literally just a couple of nights ago, I was sat in a German-style pub in Leeds moaning that the music was too loud, I couldn’t hear anything and feeling really, really old whilst I was among a group of first and second years. 2 masses (litres) of beer is now almost enough to get me drunk/send me to sleep, so I go home and fall asleep at midnight and wake up at 9am with a thumping hangover, not being able to do anything until 3pm. My housemates on the other hand, all of whom are younger than me by at least 6 months, managed to go out clubbing afterwards, came back at 5am and were feeling incredibly sprightly for their 10am seminars. I can’t even stay up beyond midnight on a normal day. Am I jealous much? Just a little bit.
Also my memory has got worse and worse with every passing year. Did I mention by the way that I was in a German-style pub and moaned that the music was too loud?
Fortunately, I’m not alone in feeling old. Olesya now prefers to sit alone with her thoughts, focusing on her root chakras rather than drinking vodka for breakfast .
“And now… I feel more alert. I am reading the Economist, which I denoted as being “boring” not too many years ago. I also don’t feel the need to socialise every single hour of the day.
“I have also begun to dedicate my mornings for “me-time” in which I do daily (mindfulness) meditation. This sets me up for the working day ahead and makes me a lot less conscious about small superficial things.
At the same time though, I’m still young. Relatively. I’ve still got 60 years or so left of my life to sit around and enjoy the quieter things of life. Besides, there’s a physical age and a mental age: my dad thinks he’s my age and I feel like I’m his age. I’m seriously starting to think an episode of “Freaky Friday” has taken place. How did they get back into their original bodies by the way?