“Real Life” (or not)

When I started this blog in December, it was supposed to be to document my transition from uni to real life and a real job. The “few months” between then and finishing my degree – now – were supposed to be a practice and a way to track my last few months at uni. I didn’t plan on blogging quite so often, and I didn’t plan on having quite so much fun, either. So the blog became something of a student/lifestyle blog, which was fine by me.

Then I decided to do a Masters. So Bella’s “Real Life” is going to be put off for another year.

I decided to do the MA for several reasons. Mostly, I didn’t really feel ready to leave Exeter, at all. Having my second year abroad meant that I only really got 2 years in the city, and one of those was first year. Everybody knows that the first half of first year is spent in a blurry whirlwind of settling in and making friends with anyone and everyone, and for me, the second half was spent in the painful knowledge that I was going to be leaving again all too soon. I loved Exeter and it felt like home from the word go, but I wasn’t exactly “settled in”: it was more of a frantic rush from one amazing thing to the next.

And, of course, leaving fast became the theme of my three years at uni. I left Exeter in first year, and everything else I knew in England two months later; I left William & Mary and my new American home a year after that; this year, I was due to leave Exeter once more, and this time for good. I got good at saying goodbyes but it didn’t mean I enjoyed them. The prospect of spending another year with everyone else staying on for an MA/returning from their own years abroad/in industry (a surprisingly high amount) seemed too good to pass up.

Then there was the fact that I actually love English. In one way or another, I’ve genuinely enjoyed every single module and class I’ve taken. I even got a weird pleasure out of writing essays and, in particular, my dissertation. People promised months of stress and maybe it was because we had to do SO much work at WM or maybe because I’m super laidback by nature (likely both), but I just didn’t find year 3 all that stressful. Seminar-going, reading and the odd essay suit me down to the ground and if I can do it for another year, why not?

Finally, there was the fact that my alternative dream of moving to London and falling into my perfect food-related job just didn’t seem that realistic. I’m only just figuring out what it is I really want to do; I need some time to get more experience under my belt before I can realistically expect to go off and do it. There is still part of me, obviously, that wants to go to the big city in September and apply for every vaguely interesting job I see and hope for the best – especially when I see so many friends going into grab jobs of their own. But I think that right now, I’m actually not ready for that. While everybody else is making their first big enormous changes in three years, I’m seizing the chance to finally get a little continuity.

And so I come to year 4 of my university life and the daunting prospect of being a postgrad, a word I know I associated with frumpy old bores this time three years ago. Exeter may have just conveniently cancelled the American pathway I was planning to undertake, but I’ve got an adorable house for next year with the biggest bathroom you’ve ever seen and two absurdly fun housemates (one being, naturally, my partner in crime Sophie) and I get to spend another year reading books and talking about them. Plus, another year in my favourite little Devon paradise.

I’ll take it!


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