Hello dear readers,

That’s the last time I get to say that. I’ve finished exams, moved out of Uni Hall, and am now back in Christchurch. First year has come to an end; this is it, folks.

A welcome respite from exam study came with my birthday at the beginning of November. Woohoo! I turned 19 – how strange it feels now to be in my final year as a teenager. I was simply inundated with kindness, which really helped make up for this being my first birthday away from home. Some lovely floormates knocked on my door to wish me happy birthday and deliver a cake, and I later received two more cakes in the mail, adding up to three in total. Three: two chocolate, one banana. To have three cakes was an absurd situation, but a happy one at that. The floor enjoyed them – they were gone in just a few days!

Two of the three cakes!

Two of the three cakes!

If that wasn’t enough food, the day after my actual birthday I celebrated with a friend by going out for dinner at a lovely–though–slightly–run-down vegetarian Thai restaurant on High St. Overall it was a fantastic birthday, and thank you to everyone involved for making it so memorable. I was left feeling refreshed for exams looming just around the corner.

Exams weren’t much fun – when have they ever been? – but I think they went OK. Owing to poor time management, and the fact that deadlines for compositions always come late in the semester, I only started properly revising for exams about a week before my first one. So it was a bit of a last-minute burst; looking back I definitely could have managed my time better. But having said that, I’d already done most of the groundwork by attending the lectures and so forth. So fingers crossed. I’ve got a feeling my exams went alright, but for now, I’m just glad they’re over.

After exams were done, there were a short few days before move-out time. It was a weird feeling, knowing we’d be gone in just a couple of days. We were trying to pack in all these fun activities to do as a floor, but it was hard to find a time which suited everyone – and by this stage, some people had already departed. Still, it was good to have those days just to be able to make a few last memories. One night I went to a jam sesh at a bar with a groovy jazz-major friend (I had a ginger beer); I also managed to drag another friend along to a 1960s black-and-white episode of Doctor Who screening at the movies. There were nights out at town. We made the most of what little time we had together with each other.

Someone even made a gingerbread house as a parting gift to the floor

Look at this lovely gingerbread house someone made as a parting gift to the floor

And then time was up. I moved out the day before our tenancy contract with Uni Hall expired. Packing took a surprisingly long time; it also made me realise how much junk I had in my room just taking up space. I’m gonna miss that room. Even though I was frequently woken up by drunk people outside, even though I could often hear stomping from the room above me, the amount of sun I got was nice, and it was a space I could call my own. Taking down my beautiful TARDIS door made me very sad. But the thing which made me saddest of all was saying goodbye to the people on the floor and in the hall. All those wonderful people. It was a hectic, bittersweet time; one person after the next was dropping off; everybody was a little overwhelmed. We said our farewells as best we could, with wishes of a good summer and promises to catch up next year. And then we went our separate ways.

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Before and after clean-out

How then, do I even begin to make sense of this year? So much has happened. Maybe too much. A lot of it’s been fun; there’s been much to enjoy. I’ll be honest though, there’s also been a fair share of not-so-fun moments. When you realise that you have three assignments and a test in the same week. When you begin to question what you’re even doing at university. The people here, though, have made it all worth it. What a fantastic, motley crew; I’m so glad I met all of them. I’m also proud of how much I’ve grown personally. It’s been a real year of changes and challenges, and it makes me proud to see how far I’ve come. Of course, there are things I would like to go back and change, quite a significant number of things. But these are things for the future. All in all, I’m more than happy with how the year’s turned out.

I just want to wrap up by saying how much I’ve enjoyed being a blogger for The Inside Word this year. It’s been fun: it’s made me reflect on things, and it’s been gratifying knowing I might be helping people. I’m sorry if I’ve been a little intense at times, a little self-involved, a little earnest – I’m sorry I used that last word when I could have just said ‘serious’. But I’ve tried to be honest about my experiences in these blogs, and I hope you’ve been able to take something away from them.

All the best for the future,

– Anthony, signing out.

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