So, after all that apprehension, it turns out that my Masters is going to be excellent, and meeting people wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I had envisaged it was going to be. Being massively cynical, I went with the nagging feeling I was going to find the whole study school experience to be a bit of a drag. Constant small talk, incessant references to how “fabulous” the online forums are for distance learners and how “useful” the course will be in furthering my career.
Instead, I met some genuinely lovely people, found the course content inspiring and drank a bucketload of wine.
The problem I’m currently having is reconciling all this positivity with my otherwise grumpy brain.
Staying in halls again was weird to begin with. Despite not actually moving into them, like I did in my undergrad degree, it was still awkward not knowing whether to go and introduce yourself to other people. As it turned out, pretty much everyone felt that way.
And judging by some of the truly excellent conversations I had over breakfast and wine (although not breakfast and wine together, I do have standards) I think I ended up making up for those awkward couple of hours I spent in my room alone the first afternoon.
The most positive thing was meeting so many people in the same position I am in – those with plenty of professional experience who are limited by their lack of qualifications. That sounds ridiculous seeing as we are all degree-level educated, but that pretty much says it all. Contrary to my usual lazy demeanour, I found myself busy each evening, either with the timetabled social gatherings, or planning a boozefest of our own. The one evening I had thought about squirreling myself in bed, I ended up traipsing through the dark Penglais campus with my partner in bitching, in fits of giggles, trying to find the bar where some karaoke was going down. We were told to look out for the kit kat buildings, which look like this:
After having spent the last 30 minutes lost, stumbling across what sounded like the weirdest dance class ever, we managed the find the bar without being abducted by aliens. A couple of hours later, after soaking in gin/cider and being worried about impetigo, we managed to find our way home. Less convinced that aliens would kill us but more concerned Aber’s many hills would do us in. Either the hills or “us” from the future – but that’s an entirely different conversation.
Essentially, I ended up spending 5 days having brilliantly silly conversations with some excellent people. One of my particular favourites involved this dude:
A brief comment that the halls we were staying in (Pantycelyn) should be pronounced “Panty-selling” ended up to be a pretty complex story about Allan, the so-called green man, and his monopoly on the underwear industry in West Wales. What we really wanted to find out was precisely why all his portraits were identical images of him making a run for it. I imagine we will never know the full story.
Me and a fellow awesome comedy nerd also managed to scramble together an excellent plan for a romantic comedy on our last night, based on my ridiculous love life and embarrassing driving lessons. It’s going to be the best British comedy in bloody ages, so you probably ought to watch out for it soon. When I get round to writing it. Editing it. Finding someone to make it. Cast it. And all that. But it’s going to be ace, I promise. In fact, we pretty much spent 4 hours exchanging our various comedy ideas. I definitely hadn’t planned on doing that, but it made me ache with laughter, which is my favourite ache of all.
In a slightly less high-brow moment, this also made me snort with laughter every time I went for a wee:
I know. It’s childish. But I probably wouldn’t trust you if that didn’t even raise a tiny little smirk. Heh. Flaps.
So, all in all, it was pretty excellent. Even if the department approves of the gratuitous use of the dreaded comic sans.
I think I’ll get over it.
Please someone point me back at this post and my happy-go-lucky-I’m-so-surprised-about-the-experience demeanour a couple of months down the line when I’m avoiding writing my assignments, or moaning about the cost. Or indeed, too busy writing my excellent screenplay and pre-emptively ditching my Library career.
It definitely feels weird to be positive about something that would usually rile up my cynicism glands (located near the pessimism ducts) something chronic. But I’m taking all the happy for what it’s worth – after all, I’m back to work today.