G’day fellow current and prospective student peers.
If you read my previous blog you would know the general theme of my blog is being old. mature. stressed. broke. isolated. drunk. in the older denomination of the student population at QUT. I recently participated in a survey for Psychology in which the results found the average age of respondents was 20.
At 29, I am what is known as an outlier. That’s right – I stuff up the data set, just by being here.
As a white middle class westerner, one could say this is my first experience of being in a minority. (No, that’s not true. I was once the only female on a tour bus with twenty men. And don’t get any funny ideas. They all knew very well if they tried anything funny they’d be punched in the throat. Not they’d want to. I smelt worse than them most of the time).
Making friends at uni is a real challenge for us ‘oldies’. We do typically have a lot more on our plate than our younger counter-parts; juggling any assortment of raising families, full or part-time work, social lives of our own and that of our family, pets, gardens, groceries, laundry, bills, health, extracurricular commitments, drinking habits and binging on chips in the closet – the list goes on. Add a degree to this and one would be forgiven for developing a drinking and closet-chip eating habit. Oh wait…
My point is, most of us tend to come to class, get the info we need and dash straight off to the next fresh hell awaiting us back at work, home or the in-laws’. We do not have similar experiences to most new uni students who do set out to make the most of uni, and all the fun it has to offer.
I have attempted to make some friends with people I’ve worked with in groups and others I’ve casually, yet strategically snuck up on (a bit stalk-y? Whaddaya think?). I think to myself, “I’m cool. All my thirty year old friends think so..and who wouldn’t want the insight of a sage ol love like me?”.
This theory was only strengthened by one group member telling me I was valuable to the group because of “all my years”. I get what he meant, but he should have added something like “of experience” to the end of his sentence to make me feel less like crying into my beer that evening.
So, I invite people to my cool house, out for coffee, beer, whatever! I usually get a non-committal “yeah that’d be cool…” coupled with minimal eye contact, soon followed by a de-friend from Facebook. I think they think the strange old bird is going to cramp their style.
To be fair, I do stomp around the library in a huff when I need a computer to work on and can only see people on Facebook or World of Warcraft, and I do often wear tracksuit pants to uni. I could explain that it’s because I go to yoga during lunch and get cold during lectures, but that’s it right there, isn’t it – A cool young person serious about social advancement would have a change of clothes in their bag or some such nonsense I just couldn’t be bothered with.
So, I remain alone on my quest for uni buddies. People who are old enough to think E.L.O are still ahead of their time, and chilled enough to accept me for my dagginess. You’re out there, I know you are, come find me (Not in a weird way – No turning up on my doorstep with a box full of dolls’ heads or anything. Just say hello on this blog or something. Be cool man, be cool.)!
Well, just as it seemed I was completely ostracised from the social ethos of university…I discovered this little ditty on Youtube!
And I thought to myself, “I say pretty much all that too! I’m still a bit like normal uni students! There’s hope for me yet!”
And I rejoiced.
In the library.
Whilst people play World of Warcraft around me.