I'm back at Warwick today, ahead of my graduation ceremony tomorrow. It seems that, while nothing has really changed in the past two weeks, actually everything has.
While walking past my first year residence of Rootes L block a few minutes ago, I was struck with a great sense of nostalgia. This part of my life is over – I will never be a student again. Nothing is the same any more.
I'm obviously not the only one. I passed another former student (yes, I have to refer to myself as a former student now, and boy does it hurt), I caught part of his mobile phone conversation in which he was angrily declaiming the construction of a new building in front of his 1st year home in Old Rootes, his upset gesticulations mirroring my own feelings with suprising accuracy.
When I arrived today I ran into a couple of flatmates from this year. One of them asked me "Did you just get back?" Whether or not she conciously chose that wording I don't know, but it was also representative of my feelings. "Back", not "here". This place has been my home for three years, and now when I return to London I realise that this is where I'd rather be. So this process is "coming back to Warwick", just like "coming back home". In a way it's sad that I don't see the place I've lived for 18 years as truly my home any more, but equally I think it's a sign of growing up, spreading my wings. Or something.
On a different note, Conference atendees are treated much better than students (to the suprise of no one at all). On arrival in Jack Martin I was confronted with tea/coffee/hot chocolate making equipment, complete with biscuits, a collection of towels in the bathroom, hangers in the cupboard, and, for some reason, a hair dryer. (Not in the cupboard though). Pity they didn't provide me with a laptop and a network card, but you can't have everything ;-). Of course, I am paying £35 for a single night, but you'd never get biscuits as a student.