January 17, 2014 11:30 am

Everyone thinks of going to university as the chance to reinvent themselves. For many it will be the first time that they won’t be living at home, making the decisions for themselves away from the watchful eyes of their parents.


That party happening at a friend’s house? You’re there.
Those new shoes looking at you from the shop window? They’re yours.

Nothing and no one is stopping you from being the person you want to be.
But is it always for the better?

I’ve personally seen this transformation happen. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t the most sweet and innocent girl to start with, but even she began to slip away, withering down below as the ‘new her’ began to wreak havoc. There was no cause; nothing had happened to her or gone wrong recently in her life. It was simply the freedom she had to make her own decisions and she began to make the interesting ones. Often she would find herself out in the smoking area of a club, getting some fresh air where previously she would turn down the cigarette or follow the British trait and apologise to someone when she told them she didn’t smoke and no, she didn’t have a lighter they could borrow. But soon I witnessed her being that girl, asking if she could ‘bum a smoke’ or just standing there enjoying that “fresh air”, talking about her cravings or how she was planning on quitting soon.


The nights out that previously were just a cheeky flirt and a kiss became something more serious; a night that was a blur that would lead to her waking up in the arms of the guy whose name she couldn’t even remember. The influence of drink almost making her walk off with a stranger when she couldn’t even stand straight (she was quickly rescued out of his clutches on that occasion and bundled in a taxi home). Who was this girl that she had become? She was putting herself in dangerous situations and not thinking twice about the consequences.

Not that I’m suggesting promiscuity or smoking are abhorrent traits, they are just indicative of the changes that had been undertaken. It was certainly an experience at the time but honestly, it’s not the person that I would choose to be again. It was a transformation that I hadn’t even realised I was taking. It was only when I met my new man that I looked back and I couldn’t understand why I had done it. It was fun at the time and I spent my life living in the moment; I don’t for a second regret it.  But deep down, who I was acting like is not the person that I am. I’ve been to university and I’ve had my fun, but now it’s time for me to grow up and settle down. I’m always going to be the girl ready to hit the dance floor or wear that dress which is just a little bit too short, but I’ve done trying to be someone I’m not. I’m tired of trying to stand out and be seen by so many people, when I’ve found the person that I fit perfectly with.

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