And so, the end is nigh. As this column is entitled ‘The Final Say’, this is mine, the last utterances before real life comes a’callin’. And as with all grand finales, it is tinged with slight regret for all those things I vowed to do in my fresh-faced youth, and yet in three years have never quite managed.
We are not talking the standard sordid deeds extolled by Vision in their fresher’s checklist designed to ‘amplify’ the York experience. No amount of time or tequila will ever incline me to perform unspeakable sexual acts on the rugby team, whilst rolling down Clifford’s tower, sacrificed duck in hand. Or worse, take part in any kind of performance in the drama barn.
No, this is my bucket list of more personal regrets. Call them petty, call them inane, but when you wake up years from now without a Revs rich’n’famous photo by your bed and you are filled with a lasting regret for opportunities passed, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1. Library chirpse. Having spent the last 2 months holed up in the J.B. Morrell, flirting in the library, or ‘library chirpse’ as it is officially known, became the ultimate achievement. It is as if the normal rules of society don’t apply; in library chirpse it is acceptable, as a friend of mine experienced, to flick your blackberry pin at someone across the desk, with a casual wink, then confront them the next day as to why they haven’t added you yet. Another friend returned to her desk to find an open book on underwriter species lying there with a note simply saying “what’s your favourite fish?” and a phone number underneath. With grand plans to never return to any library ever again, I can’t help but feel like I’ve missed something here.
2. Start a Secret History-esque cult/ society. This is admittedly a very pretentious regret, and one which never featured any kind of murder/ toga wearing, but upon my arrival at York, I was convinced that someone would push a black envelope under my door, inviting me to some kind of debauched bacchanal in the woods. Pushing aside the issue that I was evidently an elitist dick when I was a fresher, The fact that I never started up one myself is still something of a sore spot of regret (though I will say nothing to the rumours that I am one of the founding fathers of another elusive Alcuin Society…).
3. Have an affair with a lecturer. I should add here that this is not something I’m necessarily recommending, but it is nonetheless a sordid tale notably absent from my university experience; one of those rites of passage denied to me, I would argue primarily, by the aesthetically dubious academic staff. Never once have I sat in a lecture and felt my loins burning at the sight of a silver fox gesticulating wildly over Whitman, or found myself invited to Notes on a Scandal style one-on-one tutorials in the dead of night in Wentworth, wearing nothing but a trench coat and a well-worn copy of Lady Chatterly. Maybe I was just never their type.
4. Get a glammy photo at Vodka Revs. Every Monday morning I wake to my Facebook feed filled with glammy babes, head tilted, hand on hip, posing for their all important photo on entrance. I’ve always scoffed, but secretly I am jealous. You just aren’t anyone at York until you get your sass on in a rich’n’famous moment at the doors of Revs, and sadly, my moment has never come. It seems my presence here at York will now simply disappear into oblivion.
5. Finishing my undergraduate degree within the standard 3 years. It recently came to my attention that Steven Speilberg is also finishing his undergraduate degree this year, 34 years after he initially dropped out. His final pieces included an essay on Jaws, and for one of his modules (which required the submission of a 12 minute polished film) he submitted Schindler’s List. If the man doesn’t get a starred first then there’s no hope for any of us. I can’t help but feel that given a few extra years, I could have at least produced at least one Oscar-winning feature film to hand in alongside my essays on Early Renaissance poetry, but alas, I will now never have the opportunity.
Yet, despite these heavy regrets, there are few words that will sum up how wonderful my time here has been. So I will instead borrow the final lines of Richard Brautigan’s book Trout Fishing in America, “P.S. Sorry I forgot the mayonnaise.” Well we can’t all go out with a bang.