Saturday 25 May 2013

The End

The place you see above is the campus for Brockenhurst College; well, part of it anyway. The college has been hailed as one of the best in Hampshire since its birth in 1909 (yeah, it's rather old) and teaches nearly 3000 students per year in dozens of GCSE, A Level and Foundation courses. Its fairly large campus is situated amongst a beautiful natural landscape in the New Forest and is right beside bus stops and the Brockenhurst railway station for easy transport access.

Now why the fuck am I telling you this? Well, Brockenhurst College just happens to be the place I studied at from September 7, 2011 until now. While my exams take place in June, never again will I visit Brock under normal, timetabled circumstances and so my time there has officially come to an end. While some pupils are staying for a third year, I myself am moving on to university in four months and so this place is now a memory - one I wanted to express my appreciation for in this (hopefully not) pretentious blog post.

The college's food bargain bin and social hub, Hard Brock.
I visited Brockenhurst College for the first time during one of their open evenings in October 2010 and I loved it. I had planned to take course in Film, Media, History and English Literature, and immediately signed up after a few hours at the lovely campus. Not only was the college being home to such great people a plus, but the lovely surroundings really differed from the dull concrete jungle of my home and made for a greater promise of variation. My induction day took place on July 1, 2011, and it's fair to say I was a complete nervous wreck; never had I socialized with so many people at once and never had I been jerked out of my routine that I adopted at school for so many years. It was all new to me and I was a bit of a twonk when meeting new people. But my bad experiences only improved me as a person, and by the time I started college on September 7, 2011 I was always ready for the day ahead. Well, most of the time. 80%, maybe?

Though my abrupt change in timetable during the start of the year kinda pissed me off, I settled in quickly and awkward fears of socialization were a thing of the past. I had met my girlfriend Kerry Etheridge in my English Literature class and our relationship began on October 12, 2011. It was off to a bumpy start which included breakups, arguing and insecurities between us both, making for an intense emotional ride during the latter months of 2011 and even the start of 2012; but I felt this matured me even further. I experienced genuine pain and affection in the context of a relationship as we grew closer, and I am going to stop talking about this now before I gross you out. By the end of 2011, I had met loads of new friends and settled into a group of my own. That's better.

Students infest this place like flies on shit in the morning.
I really enjoyed college until around April 2012, when I grew tired of the dull routine and boring lessons - not to mention the immense stress as exams were looming. My timetable had me starting at 9am every day except Friday, and 4:20pm finishes were common. These long days began to take their toll and I struggled to feel motivated and cheerful until the final few months when I had found solace in the knowledge that I was prepared for my exams and that a lengthy summer holiday would welcome me to heaven. If I could go back to my first year, I would most certainly fix my stupid moods, for the memories are extremely joyous and I feel I wasted them a little by being so unmotivated.

My second year began in September 2012 and I felt returning was easy and relaxed. Whereas I'd be dreading returning to school and feel intense pain when recalling the pleasant summer holiday memories, college was easy to go back to as I wanted to see people again and settle in to a new timetable. I had swapped History for Psychology during the first weeks of Year 1 and, after getting a mediocre C grade in the subject, dropped it to focus on just three A Levels. I wanted my second year to be something much more memorable, and it was; but not for very good reasons.

A beautiful locale.
Okay, well, that's kind of harsh. Year 2 wasn't a total disaster, but it wasn't as memorable or compelling as Year 1 and this is for several reasons. While I had a great timetable that removed all my early starts and late finishes, I found myself unable to see many of my friends due to free period differences. Not only this, but I wasn't enjoying my subjects a great deal; Film and Media, my favourites, delved into darker territories in Year 2, studying more controversial themes and ideas which were admittedly interesting but also rather unpleasant at times. Has anyone seen Visitor Q? Well, I got to watch it for academic purposes in Film Studies and write my own essay on it. Beautiful.

English Literature in which I received an A grade at Year 1 became a boring subject in a class I did not fully get on with or settle into. I was a silent recluse in Literature and my class and teacher will probably tell you the same thing; and this contrasted greatly with my loud and crazy behaviour in the company of my friends. I know Year 2 sounds pretty crappy so far, but by far the biggest and best memory was the astounding Hollywood trip on February 23 which I detailed in a past blog post (and in like 2 billion tweets). The trip fuelled my good moods for so long during the build up, but left me severely depressed once it was over. It was that good.

A great stage of my life, but I have to move on.
If I wrote about every college memory, good or bad, and how it influenced every part of my life, I would be here until the end of time itself. I was never a talkative or comfortable kid at school; I hated every moment of it and leaving was a time of happiness and relief. College, however, has been quite the opposite. I admittedly didn't enjoy my second year a great deal and leaving that behind as been quite satisfying, but my first year remains one of the best moments of my life and, to be fair, even its successor holds many positive memories. I've met so many great people here, many of whom I may never see again, and so I wish them all the best of luck with their future endeavours.

I'm excited to move on to a new chapter in life with university and hope the people closest to me here remain more than just memories in the future.