At the risk of sounding like a long-winded yearbook signing, I devote this particular blog post to the end of the Oxford era.
In a few short hours, my fellow cohorts and myself will be venturing our separate ways for travel break. Though most of us will (hopefully!) be meeting up in Berlin this week, there will come a time when we must part yet again for our respective homes. And though [most] of us will be back at APU come fall, it won’t be in the intimate setting of a pub, café, or kebab van, nor with the same community of people.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I thought I would continue my friendships with the people I’ve resonated with in Oxford, back at my home uni. At the time, I responded with the somewhat elusive “I don’t see why not,” partly out of fear of being one of those phantom “yearbook friends.”
And by that, I mean one of those people that either a) say something along the lines of “OMG we NEEEEED to hang out this summerrrrrrrrr and in falllllll!” but suddenly go AWOL, or b) are on the receiving end of the previous sentiment, but ultimately find that the sentiment was probably half-baked.
But as I look back, I hope Monday doesn’t come. And by THAT, I’m referring to the cult classic Breakfast Club film.
I pride myself in honesty – or at least maintaining polite quietness when necessary. I won’t ask you to stay in touch if I don’t mean it, and wouldn’t expect any differently from you. But as I’ve been pondering over the prospective, metaphorical Monday, I’m not afraid to say that I genuinely hope that the genuine friendships and connections I’ve made abroad will carry over back onto our home continent.
Now to directly address my Oxford cohorts: It’s been an honor, pleasure, and the bee’s knees doing life together Oxford-style with such an array of people. Whether we spoke or interacted regularly or rarely, I think we’re bound at least by the fact that we did this together, even when apart on our separate schedules. THAT we have in common, despite what other differences we may have.
For privacy’s sake, I’m leaving out names, but the people who I most resonated with – I hope you know who you are. I sincerely thank you for unconsciously challenging me to better myself spiritually, academically, and otherwise. For traveling with me to various regions, and absorbing the panoramic views in peaceful silence. For the random, warm embrace that was totally unexpected at first, but needed, and for listening to my late-night philosophical-type ramblings. For encouraging me to venture down a different side of town than I was used to, walking with me all the way to Botley and telling me you liked a particular blog I penned. And perhaps most importantly, I must express gratitude for being your good, wonderful selves, as that is the best gift you can offer the world.
Referencing yet another classic 80’s movie, I hope that we can effectively avoid a “case of the Mondays,” skip straight to Tuesday, and occasionally endure our Oxfordian withdrawals over afternoon tea. Or drown our sorrows at the closest thing to an authentic pub we can find (since I’ll be 21 by the time fall semester rolls in), haha.
I’ve never been great with drawn out goodbyes, even as the occasions call for it. I like to do everything, whether I’m having my last stint in the New College corridors, downing my last Café Nero Americano, or strolling past the little grocer’s shop towards my flat, with perhaps a false sort of mentality that I will do these things again shortly. I could close this with a beautifully-crafted, Shakespearean “Parting is such sweet sorrow” sort of goodbye, but I think a simple but well-intentioned “Cheers!” will suffice for now.
Now, how to pack for two weeks of backpacking…