For those that don’t know, I work on a university campus. I graduated from the same university a few years ago.
Back in June, there was a series of graduation ceremonies. There were smart-looking graduands in their suits and gowns, strolling around looking the business. There were proud parents, beaming with delight that their children had completed their degrees.
For the first couple of years after my own graduation, I was so glad to be free from the educational system that I wasn’t particularly interested in the educational aspect of the following cohorts. This year, I think I’m suitably distanced from exams, revision and essays that I can appreciate watching others benefit.
For some reason, I too felt a swell of pride as I watched the scores of robed graduates-to-be.
Now the new year has started, and this week is Freshers’ week. Everywhere you look, there are new students. Lots of excited faces as they discover new places and meet new people. I’m a teeny bit jealous – I remember how exciting the start of my undergraduate career was.
When I started at university, I was eighteen and I felt fully grown up. I’m vaguely aware that I’ve changed in the years since then, but I don’t feel much different in myself. Looking at the new cohort, I can’t help but see children. I can’t believe their parents would let them move away to a strange city – surely they are too young?
And that’s when it occurred to me. I’m getting old. Reminiscing about “when I was your age” makes me feel like some sort of grandfather figure. I don’t mind though – I like my job, and I like being on a university campus: surrounded by intelligent people of different ages and specialisms.
I’m looking forward to the next graduation season now 🙂