Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ode to Uni (II): Keep Calm and Love Winch.

At work, whenever there is a stressful moment or what looks like a heavy night ahead of us, we have this mantra; Keep Calm, and Love Winch. It's our own nice little spin on the pop culture craze that is modern-day spin-offs of Churchill's famous words "Keep Calm and Carry On", with posters appearing on many a student's walls saying 'Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake', 'Drink Vodka and Get Drunk', or even the ultimate anti-thesis: 'Now Panic and Freak Out'. These posters are available for the student-friendly price of £1.50 in our annual Freshers' Fayre poster sale at the SU, and so this craze has spread like wildfire.
'Keep Calm and Love Winch' is my personal favourite; it seems all too appropriate for me. I may not always keep calm, but I do love Winch.

The University of Winchester was my first choice university, and I was fortunate enough to be let in when September 2011 came around quicker than anything has ever come around before; thank goodness too, because I'd already fallen head over Chucks for the beautiful campus and idyllic college town feel. After seeing West Downs Student Village, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
My year at West Downs was the best year, probably, of my life. I miss it every day; I'd ramble on and on about the many wondrous days and crazy nights I had while living in House 38, but the rambling would never end and I wrote a blog post previously to serve that purpose.
   We're onto Second Year, the year of the big red house and the tiny damp room. I've loved living here so far; the proximity to uni is perfection, the park where we have outdoor training for Ultimate is right opposite, the handy yet tacky little Premier shop is right next door as is the Post Office, and for some reason I've really taken to sitting on the doorstep some nights, listening to music and drinking in the chilly quiet air - very poetic, therapeutic and what not. Don't get me wrong, though, I won't miss my freezingdark'n'damp bedroom, the squirrel scurrying in the roof or the grizzlygrimy'n'gross kitchen, and I'm crazy-excited to start anew in the cutest house with the cutest people next year - which shall henceforth be known as The Mildmay Era.

Winchester is just beaut. It's supposedly a city, but really that's just due to the rich history and the cathedral. It's more of a town - a very sweet, middle class town that has an all-round Christmassy feel and somehow looks pretty in any weather.
During the day the city sits peacefully cross-legged keeping an eye on its inhabitants as they browse the Farmers' Market trying to find the perfect bread to accompany their chilli-stuffed olives and chuckling as the students run for the Badger Farm bus, weighed down with Sainsbury's bags filled with pancakes and cider; At night, the city steps back and lets the students run free in its deserted streets, frantically getting last-minute money out at the 'gash point', attacking the 3one flyerers and spending most of their crazy night clubbing stood in the smoking area under a heater contemplating doing things that they'll regret the next day.

I love living in a place that has so much beautiful and insane history, a place where I can go for a wander in the cathedral grounds or up St Catherine's Hill, a place my family are always delighted to visit. I also love living in a place with an awesome piercing and tattoo scene, a place where I can pick up a cheese 'n' mushroom pasty and not have to eat anything else for the rest of the day, a place filled with funny characters and familiar faces.
A place where I feel at home, a place I'll miss someday, and a place I'll always want to come back to.

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