It appears my first year is coming to an end at Oxford. It’s been… intriguing. It’s been an entirely new environment - new people, new living space, new topics for chat, new ways of learning. I won’t lie - to begin with, I was incredibly homesick. I’d been uprooted from my natural habitat, and anything that provided some kind of connection to home nigh on brought tears. But I’ve also learnt a few things about myself.
Suffice to say, relationship building is as much a key part of university as the actual subject. Reworking all your friendships from the ground up is the stuff of nightmares. It’s the first day we never really wanted to enncounter again. But, strangely, it appears to be the kind of situation I excel in. When people don’t know me, I feel that I can be anything. I could create an entirely new image for myself, a different life. That’s never the case of course, but it’s how it starts out.
Oxford particularly has given me an odd base from which to work on. I’ve always been a bit of an outsider (a close-to-arrogant opinion of myself, I’m sure) but here I’m just like everyone else. Not average neccessarily, just more part of the group. And it’s given me a lot of insight to myself.
And do you know what? It turns out I’ve become a bit of an advisor. I’ve never found my self giving out relationship advice. Hell, I’m the last person I’d take such advice from. Yet it’s beeen happening a lot. I’ve helped with other personal issues as well, but this year has been particularly hectic in terms of relationships for some people, and I’ve found my self in the role of consoler and “shoulder to cry on”.
Its not a role I would have expected.
Generally, I am not exactly your go-to agony aunt. I’ve always been too distant, too separated from the group. It’s not that people wouldn’t listen to me, it just always seemed there was someone better or closer at hand. Someone who would have more understanding. I just sat back and try to absorb some good life experience. But here, where everyone is just a couple of doors down, it’s entirely different. Does that say something about me and my nature? Or is it purely a result of the situation, and that I will immediately revert back to my normal reclusive self as soon as I get home?
And if I supposedly give such advice, why can’t I take it myself?