I have been in the university for four years now and in that time; there have been about 6 end-of semester vacations. I have spent a large percentage of these vacations on campus and have had the benefit of not dealing with my fear of change. See, I have changed residences quite a few times growing up whether as a result of my parents moving house or because of educational requirements. It has meant that I have been exposed to a number of different people and locations. The downside is that I don’t feel any special connection to any particular place. You would think that would mean I could just up and leave anytime I wanted. Sadly, it doesn’t. I always develop an emotional connection to my new location or residence which makes it really hard to leave. That reluctance for yet another change usually manifests itself in postponement of luggage packing and leaving at the last possible moment. One of the few times I went home after the semester ended, I only did so only when it was absolutely mandatory to vacate my hall of residence and after all my friends had left, even though my exams ended weeks before some of theirs.
What is unusual though, is that when I finally leave, the emotional attachment and the reluctance to leave is all suddenly stripped away, almost like they never existed and I lose all the connection I once had with the place. But…..I digress.
This Christmas holiday is going to be spent at home. Staying on campus during the vacation is expensive, maybe even more so than when school is in session and the previous times, I had valid reasons for staying. I couldn’t think up any valid reasons this time. More importantly, my family had been starved of my prolonged presence for a long time and I couldn’t keep running forever.
But leaving at the end of this semester seemed like a bigger deal than usual. There was the unmistakable thought at the back of my mind that that was the last time I would be going on vacation as an undergrad. The next time the end of semester vacation comes around; I’ll be done with my undergraduate studies. The end of my time here is something I have tried to keep out of my mind throughout the semester, especially since I posted Final Year In Legon. But once in a while, specific moments or events, like the publication of my final semester calendar or discussions about graduation and national service bring those thoughts back.
I am better able to deal with it now than at the beginning of the school year. I have learned to accept that it is going to happen sooner or later and I might as well make the most of the time left and be ready to deal with the end when it comes. It’s not been smooth-sailing but knowing that other people have some of the fears I expressed on Final Year In Legon has been comforting.
In the meantime, I’m home. I’m going to try and enjoy this break as much as possible and be as prepared as possible for the final lap of this four-year journey.