The first in a regular series on favourite times.
The old cliché: those were the best days of my life… As a student in Edinburgh from 2002-2006 I frequented a club that was neither classy nor credible. It wasn’t exclusive. It certainly wasn’t glamorous, but it was fun. On a Wednesday night it was so fun it was legendary. Simply referred to as ‘The Cav’, it didn’t even need a full name. On arrival we would head straight upstairs without a look at the main club area, up to the 80s-tastic top floor. Many metaphors could be made about cheese. Let me say this. It was Dairylea. Reminiscent of innocent times. Convenient. Cheap. And the nostalgia is probably better than the reality. Anyway, one of the classic floor-fillers from that time was ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams. I honestly felt, so far, those were the best days of my life.
From the opening paragraph you have probably realised that we weren’t particularly worried about being in the cool places. Queuing to get into a club was wasting valuable drinking and dancing time. Even as a Rose wine-fuelled student, with compulsory dangly earrings, pastel pashmina and a thin scarf tied around the hips of my boot-cut jeans look, I was efficient with my time.
Because it’s almost like I knew… you have fours years at this, girl. You get four years of amazing friendships, mind-blowing learning and leisure time you will later dream about. Soak it all in, every last bit, because when that Graduation ceremony happens, like a bell tolling, your time will be up and fun for you ends, my girl. The flatmates, the flat parties, the middle-of-the-night walks up Arthur’s Seat, the fall-outs, the over-sharing, the life-changing conversations, the questionable fashion choices, the heart-aches, the pasta and cheese dinners, the 3am revision sessions, the essay submitted with 60 seconds to spare, the comedy nights, the freaking curly fries with mayo dip, the Freshers’ Weeks, the student politics, the dodgy landlords, the passive-aggressive notes, the poster sales. I soaked it all up like the topic of my very first essay topic, a sponge.*
I knew that I would have to soak up these experiences because being that age, in that stage of life, with those amazing friends would happen once. And that was enough. Because I was wrong about the fun ending. The fun never HAS to end. But the fun now is increasingly scheduled. It involves spending more money and time than I would like on the Virgin East Coast Rail network. I have made more friends since University. I have had more fun times since University. I have travelled and I have worked. I have partied and I have had more of those middle of the night conversations that alter your path. But that intensity of fun. That need to squeeze every last ounce of energy into jumping up and down like a crazy person to 500 miles. That desire to stay up all night because you don’t want to go to bed and stop the fun. That fun is not forever. That’s what made it so special.
* That’s right my first every University essay was on the adaptations porifera had made through the process of natural selection and they provided evolutionary advantages. I got 80% for that essay. Something that wasn’t to happen too often academically. But in FUN 80% was considered a benchmark.