Cooped Up

Tuesday 11th March 2008

After I went home last time, I said I liked getting away from the University bubble. By that, I didn’t just mean getting away from uni work and whatnot. I also meant that it was nice to have a change from being in the same old place all the time.

One of the things I miss most about being at Sixth Form is, weirdly, getting there and back. The drive first thing in the morning was a really good way of waking myself up gently, of getting myself ready for the day. The route I used to use took me from home, along a dual carriageway (nice little blast of speed first thing in the morning, always good for the soul), and then I used to turn off that and take a twisty little back route over Clent, which was really enjoyable. The change of scenery along that route (from relatively busy town roads to quiet country ones) was really nice, especially at this time of year. Coming back was even better. Because I could take as long as I wanted to get back (within reason), I used to vary the route sometimes. Half days were great, because I took the opportunity to take the longer way home – a game I used to play was when following another car and approaching a junction, go the opposite way to the car in front. Even if it’s the wrong way. They say a change is as good as a rest, and it really is true.

I don’t think it’s just that aspect of the commute that I miss though. When I was working last summer, it involved an hour-long journey to get there. Most times I got a lift in, but I had to get the train in a decent amount of the time too. And, to be honest, I got sort of the same kind of enjoyment from that. I enjoyed watching the world go by outside the window, watching the other people on the train (oh come on, who doesnt?), and just having the time to chill out and relax. I’m not sure why it’s any different to chilling out and relaxing at home, but it is.

I think I just enjoy movement. It’s the reason I hate air travel, I think. I’m not afraid of crashing or anything like that – I know I have more chance of being killed by a pair of trousers than by a plane crash – and I like the height. But air travel is just so dull. You sit there a few miles above the ground and hurtling along at a few hundred miles an hour, but you feel as if you’re still on the ground. Except you’re in an unacceptably uncomfortable chair, and your ears are gonna hurt for a few hours after you get out.

But then, I’m probably the only person who likes being on a boat in heavy seas…

Anyway, I’ve strayed from the point. It’s not just the physical sensation of movement that I liked about the commute to school. At Uni, everything I do is centred within a relatively small area. Uni itself is 10 minutes walk away, friends houses are max 20 minutes away, town is 15 minutes away. And that’s good, I suppose, but I get a bit claustrophobic about it all. Especially given that so much of the city, apart from the centre, looks so similar (and, it has to be said, a little dreary). Sometimes I just want to see something new.

Posted at 1:29 am | Posted In: Random



Tuesday 11th March 2008, 10:50 am

I get the claustrophobicness to a certain degree. Sometimes, I take the bus to a nearby town, just to get away from the immediate vicinity. People think it’s weird, cause why would you go there when you’ve got everything you need in the city right on your doorstep? But another thing I miss about home is the small town feel along with the fact that not every second person is a student. And the change of scenery and community connects me to the wider world and reminds me that there is life outside of university.


Tuesday 11th March 2008, 8:07 pm

I get it quite a lot now. It’s a small place where I am and 3 years in the same small place has it’s fun times but it does get repetitive. That said, I think its just more than I want a change to the university scene. I’m bored of it now (never thought I’d hear myself say that) but I want to move onto the next stage. Sounds like I’m wishing away my life but I guess I am. I want the end of Uni, please.


Tuesday 11th March 2008, 11:22 pm

I kinda know what you mean, but I’m starting to get the opposite.

I have a roughly 45-50 minute commute into uni by Tube and bus, Sarah lives even further, and pretty much everyone I know lives further still, and the sheer distance to everything is actually starting to drive me a little nuts.

I like the spontaneity of living closer together because it means you can do stuff more easily. Now often I feel like unless I go somewhere with people right out of college, I just go home and it’s kinda crap.

I don’t even see stuff that’s new very often, which is pants. Haven’t been very far east, for one thing. The south-west I’ve got down, but the east… I guess there are dragons living out there? I dunno.


Wednesday 12th March 2008, 12:14 am

From my window at university, I can see the train line that comes out from the south of Durham. It’s comforting, when it gets dark, watching the tiny rows of lighted windows pass by. The opportunity to go somewhere else, home, maybe, or even further north to pastures new and as yet pretty much unvisited.

Durham is small. It’s tiny. We live on the edge, pretty much, and can walk to the centre of town in half an hour. So while one does occasionally feel like one’s visiting the same-old, same-old day after day, it’s for one thing a very pretty same-old same-old, and for another it’s nice to feel that you really know a place. I also know that if I lived right in the centre as a lot of students do, I would become claustrophobic much more quickly.

So yes, as much as it’s a pain at times, it’s nice to be able to choose to travel somewhere, be it the mile’s walk to the Science Site or the three-four mile bus out to Tesco on occasion. It’s nice thinking time.

And one of the things that I miss about driving while I’m up here is the opportunity just to get in a car and drive off, somewhere, anywhere, and go for a walk somewhere. I’ve done that at home before – Cat and I went out to Clent last summer on a whim, which was really nice :-)

Andy: East in London or east in England? East Anglia is very, very, very beautiful. I recommend it :-)


Wednesday 12th March 2008, 2:30 am

i think he means london.. what else is there?!
surely you must have been to spitalfields/shoreditch? thats east, or at least EC…


Wednesday 12th March 2008, 10:55 am

Definitely come to Devon, it’s awesome. Oh, and Kent is awesome too. I reside in both places ;o)


Wednesday 12th March 2008, 1:08 pm

I’m going to Devon (I think) for a week in May, for a field course.

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