Denial is a river in Egypt

In less than two weeks, my roommate of three years is moving out. While busy with the final exams and arranging all the pre-moving logistics, both of us have decided to postpone the tears and live in denial by continuing our routine. We are still happy living in our small female kingdom where we borrow each other’s clothes, walk in whatever whilst at home, and gossip about romantic interests over dinner. Not thinking about when the goodbye will hit us like a truck.

Another close friend of mine will also leave for her Erasmus program after the summer. Not to drown in the future angsts, we have also appropriated denial and decided to do everything we did before – weekly catch-ups in our go-to pub, coffee breaks from studying, and improvised parties between other student activities. Everything not to think of the upcoming inevitable goodbye. 

The school year is ending and many more of my friends are moving out of Groningen. This is the natural cycle of life, or rather, of student life. Yet continuing the routine feels almost wrong. Not only for those who go, but also for me, who is staying. We must have one last big hurrah! Yet I am not sure anything will be good enough for a sufficient and totally fulfilling goodbye.

This is the natural cycle of life, or rather, of student life, yet continuing the routine feels almost wrong

Before our denial pact, my roommate told me that now, whenever she walks down the streets of Groningen, she tries to ‘inhale’ it as much as possible. To remember Groningen as it is, with its doll-like houses and cats next to them, endless cyclists that might hit you at any moment, and loud students that might be seen drinking at any point of any day (and the possibility of being one of them). She described a routine. 

Then maybe routine and denial isn’t something bad. Maybe denial is good because eventually it leads to acceptance. Maybe the best way to say goodbye is to accept how great our routine was. This routine was what constituted those warm moments. This routine is what bonded us. This routine is what I will remember and miss. 

I am sure the goodbye will still hit like a truck, we won’t avoid thinking about it and none of it will feel enough. But perhaps if we will do the things we see as mundane, yet love so much, until the end, it will be a much more sentimental, fulfilling, and memorable goodbye than that hurrah. We will drink coffee, tear up while talking and if someone mentions denial, in sync we will say that ‘denial is a river in Egypt’.


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