Growing Up

1st August 2005

It was a pleasant Wednesday early afternoon as I struggled to single-handedly place my bike (formerly my father’s bike) on the bike rack. The bike rack was borrowed from a close family friend to aid in the final journey between my home of two years at Bath and my home base in Guildford. It took me approximately twenty minutes in total to secure the bike. Twenty minutes of toil and sweat, but it was a twenty minutes I was glad of. Ten minutes after loading the bike I had cleared out and removed the last of my possessions from the house at 9 Quarry Vale. I hesitated as I dropped my house key back through the post-slot in an envelope; it was an emotional moment that I wanted to cherish.

Last issue Geoff talked about changing jobs, and on the surface what follows amounts to the same: growing up and moving on with life. The main difference between Geoff and myself is that he was, luckily, moving from one job to the next. I say luckily as none of us, not even he, knows how it is going to turn out, and I wish him all the best. I ‘unluckily’ am moving from finishing University (and to all intents and purposes my academic career) to, well, the “real world” (if only it was like the MTV show). I have a plan. I have just turned 21 (I received the result of my degree a full 15 days before my big birthday) and as such have decided to take a year “off”. During that time I have so far planned to undertake a three-month cookery course in London from the 26th September onwards, as well as teaching at my old tennis club alongside my former coach. Cooking has always been a passion for me (let's face it, it will be a great asset in wooing the ladies) and I greatly look forward to those three months.

The rest of the year I have not yet decided. I could work abroad, possibly in a ski resort where my newly-learned cooking skills would be put to use. Working in a ski resort would be ‘da bomb’. In between the cooking and general cleaning work around the chalet, I will have the opportunity to pursue one of the greater luxuries in life. To some it is a gentle meander down a snow-capped mountain to the nearest restaurant where one can then put their feet up with a nice hot cup of hot chocolate. For others it is a constant race, whether it be weaving in and out of others occupying the mountain or barging through the queues to reach the lift first (which seems to be well pursued by our friendly French neighbours). That is right my friends, it can only be the wonder-filled activity that is skiing. For me, skiing involves getting down the mountain in the most comedic fashion possible. Whether this emerges from goofy skiing styles, or, more infamously amongst those in the know, from my comedic crashes.

After this year off I plan to undertake my PGCE to become a qualified teacher. It was a weird moment knowing that I was going to pursue a career in teaching (as my university tutor and I joked, it was either that or a PhD. I flipped a coin). Concerningly (although secretly satifisyingly) I have already been told by a number of my friends and contemporaries that they could imagine me being a teacher (apparently it is the beard). I am greatly looking forward to a possible career in teaching and if I teach in state school for two years I don’t have to pay back my student loan.

I’m looking forward to growing up, but not just yet. I’m off to do what every sensible 21 year old should do; build a fort.