So, let’s get into it shall we? The focus of my blog is supposed to be around the first chunk of my year here as a student, and I can certainly say I was both surprised and perhaps a little apprehensive about Portsmouth as a whole when I first moved here. Having previously lived in Cambridge, I’d become adept at understanding a city and its multiple facets. How on the outset when you first drive in, car loaded up with your life’s’ pieces, you are first greeted by its loudest landmarks, the towering spires, the general look and sense of its buildings and streets, the smells, the mish-mash of shops and unique sense of personality one can feel when first navigating the bemusing new streets you’ll soon be calling home. I was lucky to move into a very warm and enthusiastic house of third year law and psychology students, girls of twenty one who greeted me with kindness and excitement, my seniority of four years proving to be a much more exotic asset than I could have anticipated – but mostly one of humour and glee at my stoically labelled ‘maturity’.
To explain the origins from which I came, I’d need more than a paragraph to do it justice. Suffice it to say I spent my summer in the countryside at a relatives newly renovated home, surrounded by fields, lazily beautiful Suffolk sunsets, and quaint village events. The relative with whom I was staying, as it turns out- had fully grown a potent and consuming passion for the consistent consumption of alcohol throughout the long summer days and its maddeningly hushed and balmy nights. Whilst this was an experience all on its own, it also made for an interesting contrast when I left that temporary nest to land in the buzzing, busy, bursting full and slightly frantic energy of a house of five young women- four of whom had the steam under their heals of a final year in Portsmouth. This sense of urgency seemed to begin the release of a profoundly ‘carpé noctem’ attitude to the ensuing days and months- at once welcoming me in as an initiated first year and toasting their coming escape to the land beyond that wonderful university bubble.
In many ways this blog has been a long time coming- since late September this last year I have spent a great deal of my time (when not spent studying/ procrastinating/ attempting to read) partaking in, observing, and quietly documenting to myself the almost Dionysian approach I now see in my younger peers when night falls and the decision to obliterate ones thoughts and social boundaries is made- Lambrini bottle in hand. The following few posts on here will be some of my recollections of these nights, the effects this can have on students sense of self and balance with their expensively purchased education, and the truly shocking, glamorous, hilarious and sometimes unavoidably dangerous situations they procure.
I’ll leave you with one of my photographic teasers until then, see you soon!