The city is colder without friends

Student-life has many secrets. Gems and bitter pills that are never talked about, but left for the unwitting youngster to discover. Student friendships just happen to be both.

In my first year, I was holed up in a crumbling flat with dozens of other first-years from across the world. A new country, a new city and sharing living space with strangers needed getting used to, and doing it together ended up welding us into a tight unit, even if we didn’t always get along.

Perhaps it was because of our shared cluelessness, or the inherent trust young people place in those around them, or simply sheer necessity, but an incredible openness evolved among us, that saw us through some rough times. They were truly the reason I made it out the first year alive.

In my third year, however, the majority of those I knew upped and left. I went from taking it all for granted, to having no one that I could ring and meet on a whim. A rude reminder that it was never meant to be permanent in the first place. It was late summer, but the city was palpably colder. 

‘Go where opportunity calls, and make the most of it’, Is the motto we ought to live by, or so I’m told

Was I supposed to be okay with that? I was the one who willingly hauled my bags halfway across the world, after all. Nothing was promised to me but the chance to learn something new, and to pick up a fancy scroll for my troubles. Everything else was merely icing, surely?

That’s just how the modern world is, isn’t it? The marketplace isn’t interested in the depth of your social connections, or the strain your being away puts on them. ‘Go where opportunity calls, and make the most of it’, that’s the motto we ought to live by, or so I’m told.

Yet, that description doesn’t do student-life any justice. I came to a city in which I didn’t exist, and had no past, and now, there were memories at every corner. Though I hadn’t known any of them for very long, we were far from being some conglomerate of self-seeking rational agents.

I’m staring the end of my study in the face, and the thought of having to leave student-life behind is a painful one. There’s some comfort in knowing that it’ll stay with me in other ways. Besides, I still have that last semester. 

HRYDAI SAMPALLY

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