Guest post written by Hannah Louise Oldham.
I began university as an undergraduate almost exactly ten years ago. I had just turned eighteen and had really no idea what to expect when I rolled into Exeter wearing flip flops on that hot autumn day. Beginning that journey again triggers a sort of sense memory of those moments when I stepped into my student halls and onto campus for the first time, all tied up in scents and flavours and feelings. Sunshine mixed with bursts of warm rain; rustling pages, cheap wine and cheese toasties.
Beginning instead as a distance learning, part time postgraduate immediately felt quite different. I know my way around a library now, for instance, though I now have to find my own ways to access one, alongside tentatively exploring the wide world of digitised texts available from the University of Roehampton library. The balance of work and studying has swung the other way – as an undergraduate I would fit my hours working in the campus bookshop around my studies, now I squeeze studying in before I start work in the morning, or when I get home at night. When I think about my undergraduate life I marvel over how much time I seemed to have, and how I didn’t seem to realise it. Looking back, I seemed to spend an ordinate amount of time just sitting and thinking. I wondered how I was going to fit everything in now.