The World’s End. A rather appropriate title. The truth is, I was going to review it…that’s kind of what I do. But I don’t want to review this film because I had been unbelievably excited about it for such a long time, and sadly I was disappointed. That’s not something I want to talk about right now. Maybe later.
Instead, at the risk of venturing from my writing comfort zone, I’d like to talk about a far more depressing subject that this film has made me face. Growing up. Allow me to vent:
I MISS UNIVERSITY! I FEEL SO OLD AND I JUST WANT TO BE YOUNG AGAIN! IT’S NOT FAAAAAIRRRRRR! Etc. etc. etc.
Please don’t mistake my manner for blasé, I’m just incredibly aware of the fact that so many other people feel the same way I do at the moment. P.U.B (Post-University Blues) have probably been written about by so many other people recently, and I know my feelings are hardly original.
Yet that doesn’t make them any less valid. Because the truth is, it almost feels as though my world has ended. Dramatic as that may sound, it’s true, the world as I know it has ended.
For almost my entire life I’ve been in education and now I’m out of it, I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t exactly know who I am now.
Though I will miss the learning, it’s more than that. Uni meant so much to me. I’m from a tiny Island, and until I left for uni, I’d never lived anywhere else. Uni was my escape. A chance to start afresh in a place where no-one knew me and a chance to be anyone I wanted to be.
Uni was acceptance. Something I seemed to struggle with in High School. I’m not sad about the fact I didn’t have many friends in school though, I’m sad because I met some of the best people in the world at uni, people who I hope will remain my friends for the rest of my life, and now I’m apart from them.
I hope this doesn’t come across as a sob story, that’s not my intention. Though this is partly a selfish opportunity to find an outlet for my feelings, my main intention is to identify what pretty much every other recent graduate is feeling right now. Perhaps what almost every person in the world has felt at some point.
A line from the film struck a chord with me, when Simon Pegg’s character is talking about a night out they had, the best night of their lives, and he said it never got better than that.
That line has haunted me. What if life, no matter how wonderful from this point, never gets better than it was during the past three years? When I was with the best friends in the world, when I was whoever I wanted to be, when the whole world lay at my feet, and when anything was possible…does life get better than that?
It reminds me of another line from The Boat That Rocked (one of my favourite films). A character says he had a thought, and it has festered: “These are the best days of our lives. It’s a terrible thing to know, but I know it.”
I watched that with one of my best friends from uni a few months ago and he said, “That’s what I’ve been thinking for the past year”, and I completely agreed with him.
They do say it don’t they (people who say those things), ‘People’s time at university are the best years of their life’.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I still have my whole life ahead of me, I am only 21 for goodness sake, and I’m optimistic that life is going to be amazing. I still have so much to see. I know everyone feels this way and that everything will probably be fine, I’m a rational person.
But I’ll never stop missing the chapter in my life that has just closed, no matter how exciting the next one may be. I think I will always feel an ache in my chest for so many amazing times that I can never get back.
The really sad thing is, it went too fast for me to appreciate just how wonderful it was. I was so busy stressing about the essays, the exams, my dissertation, to truly understand how great things were.
Yes there were bad times, mostly work related. Nights where I was pulling my hair out at 3, sometimes 5 a.m, sure I was going to have a cardiac arrest. Weeks in which energy drink was my best friend and sleep the bottom of my priority list.
During the last few months in particular, I was so desperate to finish all my work and just be done with it all, all I could think about was being free. So intent on wishing the time away. Hindsight is a wonderful thing they say. Well I say, hindsight…what a b*tch.
I’d give anything to do it all over again. The stress included. Because it would be so worth it for those nights with my friends where anything was possible, where I felt so alive.
Then again, I’m starting to wonder if nostalgia is the real gift. Perhaps the memory of something will always be better than the real thing. That’s the benefit of a rose tint. It’s certainly true of nights out. All my best drunk stories come from nights where I felt the most dreadful.
I guess that’s the point of life isn’t it? Having good stories. Because when everything else is gone, the memories remain, and when you yourself are gone, the stories remain. Providing you share them of course.
It’s so important to share those stories. Stories that amuse, sadden, are thought-provoking and above all, stories that inspire. That’s why I love films so much. Stories make life worth living.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this chapter of mine. I’m off to enjoy the next one.