University as an escape from reality?

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We’re all accustomed to the phrase the ‘Loughborough Bubble’ and tbh, it’s a phrase we casually drop into a conversation when relevant. But don’t you ever sometimes think, how great is the distance of this bubble from ‘reality’ or ‘the real life’? I do … otherwise why would I be writing this article lol. Personally, I would say that university is a sort of diversion from your typical day in a working life. The fact that Loughborough is completely distinct from any other stereotypical university really adds to this distance from reality. I know this sounds really obscure, but I just want to point out some things that really got my brain cells buzzing.

Okay, think about it. Would you realistically go on a night out 3-6 times a week whilst juggling a full-time job? You obviously won’t (but if you, let me know how it’s going). That is why I see university as an outlet for everything you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. Excessive clubbing, excessive drinking, excessive socialising and even excessive procrastination. It’s a way to get everything out of your system.

Interestingly, even the food that we consume at university is a brief lapse in life … that is, assuming that you all eat ridiculously unhealthy snacks and junk food like me. It’s a period of time where you engulf in all the edible temptations known to man. Only have I eaten pizza consequently for 5 days at Loughborough – I would never dare to do that at home.

It is just a cycle of fun and freedom at Uni. I feel that all our previously subconscious desires are fulfilled somehow. I know this is quite strange but I’ve always wanted to have a sense of independence through ownership. When I found out we had ID cards that we could tap around and get us access into buildings, flats, the library and on buses – I felt complete! I’ve started my final year and I feel like part of the university belongs to me. It’s all really strange – don’t judge me.

We don’t really have any real commitments whilst at University. Of course your lectures and seminars are compulsory, but there is no ‘real’ punishment if you don’t attend. Comparatively, in working life, you’re unable to randomly skip work because there are harsh disciplinary actions that will impact your life. So in a sense, academic life is in complete contrast to the structure of working life. Oh my God, this sounds way too deep; let me give a more informal final example.

So for instance, I find it weird that when in halls, some of us end up sharing a toilet and shower up to between 10 people (I’ve been doing it for 2 year). But just really think about it. When I’m at home and a sibling takes a number 2, 100% I’m going to make a fuss about, open all the windows, having a meltdown and probably confront them in overcoming this awful smell. Yet when in halls, we just accept it and breathe it in. “Oh it’s fine”, “It’s natural” –really? It wasn’t natural when you refused to use the toilet at home 2 weeks ago.

I think I’ve written this to say that sometimes we take university for granted – just maximise all the opportunities you have here and enjoy the freedom that you have. Par the toilet example, take any wise words into mind – they’re quite refreshing.

– By Asli Jensen

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About Author

This is Leanna’s third year involved with LSU Media. Having been Label Culture Editor and Assistant Editor on committee, as well as a columnist and Feature Content Coordinator, she’s now taking on the Label Editor role. Leanna’s job involves ensuring Label content is published to a high quality in print and online, encouraging new and old volunteers to get involved, and sitting as a member of LSU Media Senate.

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