The stages every Royal Holloway finalist goes through
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride
As some of us prepare to leave for good, there are a few rights of passage to go through in order to get ready for the impending doom of unemployed and overqualified life in the real world, far away from our little Egham campus bubble on the other side of the M25.
While at Royal Holloway, we’ve been through our biggest ups and downs, made some of our best friends and had some fantastic VK-induced moments. Those three years go faster than you could have possibly imagined, and so leaving is a particularly daunting and emotional time. As I’ve entered those final weeks, I’ve found myself going through the following stages.
Appreciating Founders even MORE
As the day to leave looms closer, I’ve found myself taking way more photos of it, and becoming a Founders history expert at the same time. I mean, everyone should know the corridors are that wide to accommodate the skirts of the Victorian students, right? I even started to sentimentalise the hourly bell chiming.
Irrationally panicking you’ll never see your friends again
We all have a friend that cries every time s/he is reminded it’s “one of the last times” you’ll do something together. I assure you, trying to reason with your crying friend in the SU and assure them you will still get drunk with them after graduation isn’t fun.
Noticing your ‘lasts’
From the last time you go to Egham Essentials, to the last time you go to Monkey’s Mondays, via the last house meal…everything has the potential to be your “last”. That last SU Christian Soc jam doughnut is nothing short of tragically perfect.
Forgetting what it was like to be a fresher
First year becomes a drunken half-remembered dream now. Remember when you climbed over the back gate all the time and loved halls? Everyone misses those days. Those days are gone, and all of it will soon be a distant memory.
Going to the SU – and actually dressing up
With the clock ticking, we started going to the SU every night possible and actually enjoyed it. For three years it was there as the only option for a night out in Egham, sticky floors and all, but now we’re going soon it’s started to actually become more and more enjoyable. We even did the fancy dress theme nobody else bothers with.
Missing the locals
You have to resign yourself to the fact you’ll no longer hear Postman Issac’s dulcet tones brightening your day, and it’s not easy. He’s the biggest BNOC we have and he doesn’t even go here. You might even take a photo with him to make it easier to bear.
Posing for the obligatory disso pic
Everyone takes a mini photo shoot when it’s time to hand in the dissertation, and why not? It took long enough, and it also prepares you for the impending throwbacks in a year when living a dull, Eghamless life. So. Much. Timehop.
Staging post-exam photo shoots with your bffs
Instead of feeling euphoric after our last exam, we just took photos with Founders in weird poses and felt a sense of emptiness. For so long, you can’t wait for exams to be over – and when they finally are, it’s a huge anticlimax, and you realise you’re leaving.
Waving goodbye to your beautiful room
I took pictures of my room so I could remember exactly how it was. This level of obsession might be unique to me though.
Making more of an effort with your housemates
We started making up for lost time by putting in real effort to do things together, and we took way too many housemate photos, even though we can still see each other after we leave. Although it won’t be the same, it’s the hungover days gossiping and watching Sunday Brunch I’ll miss the most.
Putting off potential renters
When people came to view our house, we did our best to re-enact this scene from Beauty and the Beast. I mean, it’s your room, the next people won’t know what to do with it, and won’t have nearly as much fun as you did in your house. You’re perfectly entitled to shout at them until they leave.
We paid the (ridiculous) £75 for the Summer Ball, and the night was an emotional rollercoaster. We stayed awake for the survivor’s photo – not because it’s fun, but because one must fulfil their duty (if you get past the 4AM blues, you’ll be dancing again by six).
Graduation was an exciting prospect – until the realisation kicked in it meant it was all over. That said, it was still the best day of our lives. Inevitably when it’s your turn you’ll also be part of an array of emotional statuses that you look back on months later far more than is healthy.
Word of warning: if you come back after you’ve left, you find everything looks the same except now you don’t know anyone and all the students look really young. It’s crazy depressing.