This is a little deja vu – I do remember posting something at 3:30am in the morning complaining about the fact of being awake at said time. But that was then – Singapore, a different moon, a different sky. Here, my windows are firmly shut to keep out all the cold except the bit sporadically whistling through, and all the noise except the wafts of drunken banter.
(I know I don’t post nearly enough and I really should / want to, and as a result of not doing so my blog is a miserable, inaccurate portrayal of my life. Anyone who knew me solely through this would think I’m variously melancholic, insomniac, sentimental – just a really mellow person in general. But I don’t care.)
This term has already been vastly different from the first two – where life had been substantially, blessedly about exams. (I am good at exams. Standardised tests mostly, but some variation’s fine too. Following rules is comfortable; that’s why I bake, measuring everything to a nicety from little teaspoons and measuring cups, that’s why I acted, memorising lines, getting comic humour down pat and serving chilled with a number of preset gormless expressions.) The thing about Oxford is that while the partygoers go as hard as anywhere else, it’s also easy to get too comfortable putting everything you have into academics without getting souleatingly judged, at least by everyone who matters. There is a communal sense of academic fervour (or at the least, a blunter desire for undifferentiated success) driven both by (friendly?) competition amongst peers and the inexorable must of greats permeating every building, teasing the nostril.
This term however has brought along a fresh expectation of adventure; with Finals not for another 7 terms (ie the remainder of my degree), the trend is generally to Get Out and Do Something Fun. And Stop Studying in Library.
I haven’t done much yet, occasional social obligation aside. I’ve definitely been studying much less. The thing about being exceedingly focused in one thing is that you can be as disengaged as you are engaged – just as Mods pretty much approximated to the substance of my waking existence last term, I’m finding it disturbingly easy to not study at all so far this term. Finding it too familiar the feeling of knowing nothing about the topic one day before the essay deadline. The true essay crisis.
But I think academics are really the least of it for me this term (and it means a lot that I say this): what is new about Trinity is precisely the multiplicity of non-curricular things that are happening to me / that I have voluntarily contracted into. There’s been the fever – debilitating and completing the embargo on acads for me – learning how to make porridge in my rice cooker for the first time – taking the 30min walk to a NHS doctor who was utterly useless and recommended Strepsils and other off-the-counter drugs; there’ve been old friendships, affirmed in my newfound humanity over formals or dinners or drinks; there’ve been old (simmering) friendships being taken a step further;
as others flake wearily at the seams, arguing merely from silence…