Four summers on

Late June is a strange time in Old Grunn. The end of another academic year brings with it the excitement of summer, but also the painful realisation of the impermanence of student life.

What started out for me as a purely selfish pursuit of the new, the exotic, and the exciting, has grown far deeper than I could ever have anticipated. And it’s not just the change in perspective that comes with marinating in the canal, sugarbeet and herring scented air of the city for a few years.

Like most internationals, I came here with two suitcases and not much else. Housing was an ugly headache, but the energy of the city and the freedom of a clean slate more than made up for it. Looking back, four summers on, it was a second coming of age.

Yes, there were teething troubles, unpleasant incidents, and academic and personal failures, but they turned out to be invaluable experiences. Bizarrely, they ended up enriching the positive side of it – the happy times and the strides I’ve made despite the setbacks.

A once foreign city is now a second home, and people who were once strangers are now like a second family

Mock me for being sentimental, but I can’t help but be struck by a sinking feeling at the prospect of having to say goodbye to it all. It was plainly obvious at the start of my studies that this had to happen at some point, but it still comes as a rude shock.

Yet, perhaps, that’s the most remarkable part of my time here. The fact that a once foreign city is now a second home, and that people who were once strangers are now like a second family can only be explained by a work of providence.

I could go on for a couple more pages, but you get it. You know that nostalgia soaked feeling as well as anyone. It washes over you everytime you reach a milestone, and can’t resist looking back. It’s something to be grateful for.

I hope to cherish memories of student life for years to come. For now, however, there’s another beautiful summer at our doorstep. Well, resits, and then summer.

HRYDAI SAMPALLY

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