For a change, I was on campus in the middle of the day, late last week. Usually, my campus visits are limited to classes (mostly at night), labs (also at night) or freak occurences (think along the lines of flash floods, or something else rare). But I needed extra lab time, and that was all I could get, so shortly after 10 AM on Friday I was strolling through campus, ipod in hand, tunes cranked, comfortably numb to my surroundings.
Stopping, waiting to cross a street, it hit me. A dose of melancholy, and a bit of longing, for the days when going to school was what I did. Day in, day out. Sure....I worked a small-time job all hrough my first year of university while I went to school full time, but after that, it was all downhill. Work outweighed school 10 to 1. When I was lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, the likelihood that I was thinking about school was slim. Work? High.
Strange how things get altered when you get a "real" job. A job that requires you to think. A job you could call, ahem, a "career". It changes everything. It changes the risks you are willing to take, and priorities. For years now (four at least), I've been more employee than student, more marketing than academic, more caught up in work politics and things to do than in heavy books about communication and music and the things I really enjoy.
Usually, I don't miss it. Out of sight, out of mind. But on Friday, it was like the reason I went to university in the first place came back and hit me square in the face.
It is the crisp days of fall-not-quite-winter and the brisks walks across campus, the hours spent in the lab knowing it is still daylight outside, the presence of other students and new ideas in my life that make me sometimes wonder why I made the choices I did.
Oh, how I would love to be just a student, again.