ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lancaster University

Updated on October 11, 2011

I am here, in this place, where the very air is charged with knowledge; where, if you relax and stand still, you can feel the fizz of potential in the atmosphere. This is a place that never fails to give me palpitations, that fills my every cell with a nervous energy that almost overwhelms me, and a often causes me to cry. Because I am a sentimentalist perhaps, yes; because one of the greatest forces in the world that I know of exists in the power of potential, definitely.

I used to work at Lancaster University, in the very excellent English Department. I won't lie to you, because you're my friends: I did not like the job at all, because it was very dull and I was too clever for such a monotonous and tedious job. But I did like coming to the University every day, and I did enjoy the sense of pride I felt when anyone asked me where I worked. The place is full of students! And they have always been the thing that made me love this place. Freshers' Week was always a joy, the office buzzing with nervous little only-just-adults, asking hilarious questions about rooms and books and pass marks. The whole town of the university campus comes alive when the students are here, with every minute packed with activity and industry and quiet procrastination. So much potential, not always achieved - but that's alright, that's part of it, that feeling of desperation, of clinging on by the skin of the teeth at the end of every term. So exciting. And when it all quietens down during the holidays even the sunny days feel grey because the students are not here. But they come back, and it carried on, term after term, bright faces, half aware of their intelligence because they have earned a place at this prestigious institution, yet not quite believing that they're worthy: they're afraid they'll be found out one day and be asked to leave. They won't.

And at the end of it all, Ceremonies: the week in which the gowns come out of the storage, and the mortar boards are donned with incredulous pride, 'is it graduation already? But I'm not ready to leave.' The princess comes to confer the degrees (actually not any more, but she did in my day) and the whole university is covered by a veil of tears, happy ones, sad and nostalgic ones, nervous ones. Graduation is the last time that some of these friends will ever see each other, though they don't know it. I do. But that's alright, that's part of it, that feeling of hope, of clinging on to those special people who shared one of the most intense experiences it's possible to have in life.

I've had that experience (albeit on a different campus). I've submerged myself in that sea of knowledge (almost drowned, but fortunately I'd taken my rubber ring with me - almost everyone else had a proper life jacket, but that's alright, I have one now too).

So I'm back here, just for a short visit today. And what I've seen this morning is that it is actually possible to go back sometimes. Things don't change so much. The campus still feels the same, though its skin has changed a little. The students that rush about, that chat to each other about iPhone apps and X Factor and sometimes compare lecture notes, are the same students that were here ten years ago (not actually the same ones, because those ones will probably have jobs and houses and children by now, just like me) feeling full of potential, realising that the world was theirs and they just had to claim it. In the end, most of them don't claim it, but that's alright, because it's never too late. I've always had it in my mind that I would come back here as a student one day, to soak up some more of that knowledge and earn the right to wear one of those mortar boards and those gowns with the red and the grey trim. So I'll always be envious of the only-just-adults and their youth and ignorance, of their energy and vitality (though they don't know they have it, so my envy is wasted); but that's alright, I will be here, steeping myself in facts and histories, covering myself in nostalgia, but seasoning with new memories (and slightly mixing my metaphors).

I really just enjoy walking around with text books and imagining that people are watching me and thinking 'ooh, she's obviously very clever'. But that's alright.

Long live the universities, and long live students.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)