The first week of a new term is always a tough one but this term has truly outdone itself. One month later and it still feels like the first week…

1. I’ve learnt that my new daily commute to work was a whole lot worse than expected. In my first week, it consisted of 19 trains and a total travel time of approximately 24 hours and 30 minutes. It’s actually rather horrifying to write that down… I don’t know why I added it up. I believed this would make all of the remaining weeks seem like a breeze… It hasn’t taken as long but I’m still tired. It’s still awful. Nevertheless, ever the optimist, I’m hoping that I’ll get used to it in the end.

2. I’ve learnt that on the train, there are rules:

    • Don’t go anywhere near someone else’s personal space.
    • You won’t really know how big someone else’s personal space is until you’re given a very obvious sign (usually a loud sigh, a glare or a raft of belongings pushed in your general direction).
    • No-one else will value your personal space.
    • People are incredibly rude and in a hurry- ALL OF THE TIME!
    • When there are delays, people will moan, and moan, and moan some more- far beyond the point where I thought they
      wouldn’t have anything left to moan about.
    • People will have no quarms about telling a stranger to shut up or indeed telling a stranger that they have a big fat arse.
    • It will be less then a month of commuting before, after a particularly soul-destroying week at work, I am into the full swing of the swearing and anger of those around me.

3. I’ve learnt that with a long commute, a lack of sleep and an inordinately large workload, an entire month can just happen to you like some kind of assault. So much so that in the end, you’re unsure who you are anymore or why you’ve been given so much responsibility. Who on earth decided I’d be capable of all this? Someone somewhere has made a huge mistake… I can’t even put my key in the correct house door. Yes. This happened. It was utterly perplexing at the time but thankfully I was able to laugh later.

4. I watched ‘yes man’ and thought it would be a good motto to live my life by. It wasn’t, isn’t and never will be.

5. Just when I feel for the first time this term like actually giving it all up and going to work in a bookshop, a student and his Haiku saved it all:

Today my life starts
University offer
I can’t wait to go

In the end, it’s all about those young people. It always was and always will be.

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