University life is strange; it’s oscillating between incredibly deep and pointless conversation about the meaning of ‘The Process’ to trying to make the gutter stay still for one second so that someone can stand up, wobblily. It’s vomit smell in club and pub loos, that sweet smell of marijuana smoked out of the back window, and the manic bouncing patrons who are too high for conversation, or for that matter mere human existence.

Bam. Talk about Kafka. Bam. Try to avoid the splatter in the loo. Bam. Student Union officials who want us to protest the capitalist mode of exploitation of the working masses. Bam. Laughing endlessly about some stupid joke Abbie’s just made. Bam. Sitting at home, feeling like all that is happening to someone else, and that I’ve only borrowed the memories. Bam. Mark’s hand massaging my neck. My man has magic hands.

It’s not long now; soon the first year will be over. I’ll have to write a paper and do some tests to prove that I belong here another year. This year hasn’t been much different from Sixth form, to be honest. Next year is said to be different; more independent. But they said that about University too when I was in college, didn’t they?

I am less and less sure if I’m in the right program. Or maybe I’m in the right program but everyone else, apart from Ben and Abbie, are here for entirely different reasons than to study literature. This year was very marshalled and managed, and next year they’ll relax the leash. They say. It will be more independent. They say.

Unless dad kills me after reading these thoughts, and after thinking about the £9000 this spot has cost me for this year alone, in year three we’ll be placed out to pasture to work. I have two years to decide if I want to try to become a playwright for a working theatre, who probably are crying for personnel, or if I’m going to try to get into a newspaper and start my long trek toward journalism.

I want to be a writer, but I’m not sure anybody else here wants to be one. I want to be independent, but I’m being pushed and pulled into this social circle or that, and the price of admission seems to be to conform to the rules.

Yesterday evening I finished my book of essays. I feel quite good about myself for finishing it. It’s the kind of book I feel I can write now, because I already produce tonnes of essays and papers and reports. One more won’t matter, and many were already written when I decided to do it.

I shall let it rest for a month or so, and then start to polish it.