Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had this idea that something was wrong with me. Not in the way I looked, or even how I acted (mostly) but I just wasn’t fitting in as well as I should be. Things weren’t going the way society had laid them out. Actually… They still aren’t.
I mean, we grow up thinking certain things are supposed to happen. So I thought I’d check out a few of these ideas that I’ve had in my head since I was 13:
1. Marrying your first boyfriend
Now, I do in fact know a few couples who are engaged to their first boyfriend, or their first love if you differentiate between the two. In most cases (that I know) they’ve been together at least five years, have endured their mishap teens and survived the curse of long distance. Finally, as they’ve grown into young adults, one has popped the question.
But then again, I know people who have been through all that and still refuse to consider that kind of commitment.
Me? Well, I broke up with my first boyfriend almost five years ago but at the time I think people did imagine us getting married. I think even I did to an extent. I don’t know whether it was because we lasted so long (anything over six months was considered a massive deal) or just because we were always together, maybe it was the naivety of being 17/18 years old and feeling the rush to settle down.
Looking back though I’m glad that never happened. To say the least, I’ve had a very different life to what I could have had and I wouldn’t say it’s all a bad thing.
2. Best friends for life
It’s a romantic idea isn’t it, you meet when you’re toddlers and are still bosom buddies as you cause havoc in your wheelchairs. In fact, I do still talk to the girl I considered my BFF. We met when I was three, at Sunday School. She was rebellious and wanted to play Power Rangers- and I was banned from watching the “violent” tv show so I was amazed. Her height made her look two years older than me rather than six months younger. She was an only child and had the confidence to show it, while I was far more weary and responsible for my little sister.
We still talk, but I wouldn’t call us best friends. She stayed home, moved in with her boyfriend, got a full time job and even got engaged. Me? I buggered off to university and essentially disowned everything that I had once known on that little island.
Personally though I do think that that’s more something about my personality. I have a very short attention span when it comes to friendships. I’m not saying I can chuck people away, in fact I’d probably say I was too clingy, but I don’t show it as much. I’m fond of having time alone, and I don’t enjoy talking about deep, emotional kind of stuff unless I’m bossing someone about with advice.
2b. You make lifelong friends at university
This is kind of going along the same lines, and it’s another concept that I was relatively disappointed with. I mean, I’ve made friends yes- and I do know course mates who are more like siblings now. But, typically, it would only be between one or two friends. Maybe I do have that now, I mean I am trying to revive some friendships that I let slide over the past few years and am finding that with a little effort it’s not that difficult. But I don’t think going to university together and slaving in the library at 3am automatically bonds you for life. Though I can see where the idea came from, with university usually being your last few years of freedom before full time employment takes over.
3. You meet the love of your life at university
Ha. This is along the lines of “by the time you’re 18 you’ve met the guy you’ll marry”. Or as my boss once said: “in our culture, if you don’t meet your wife at university you settle for your arranged marriage.” I know many, many people who got swept up within the first few weeks of university- myself included. We all ‘fell’ for some guy, good or bad, and while some have survived the test of university, the majority didn’t.
Not to say that I haven’t met many people at university. I mean, whether they were potential best friends, worst enemies, one night stands or the full wham-bam-blow-out crush I’ve had them all. And well, my 18 years before that is a whole other story. But I’m quickly starting to realise that there’s not really much point going out with expectations of anything but yourself anymore. If you go out believing that you’re going to do your best, then falling in love or bonding with someone will happen when it’s supposed to happen.
Which leads me onto my fourth, and final point:
4. Everything comes together at university
Well, the less said on that the better.