For this piece I’d like to discuss, if I may, a rather depressing issue (especially considering we are verging precariously close to the outbreak of Spring) in this piece; notably, the subject of university goodbyes.
However, I want to advance a slightly different spin on the issue. Y’see, pieces such as this crop up routinely in this fine publication about this time every year when the then editor finally realises they have to finally face the real world and drones on about bidding farewell to their drinking buddies, employees at the local Co-Op and whoever else (at the risk of preserving what little professionalism I have left, I apologise in advance to those of you planning to submit any such articles for the next issue and look forward very much to reading them during proofing!). I instead, as a society president myself and editor of Exposé, wish to focus on saying goodbye to this year’s current university activities and operations.
Indeed, it is over the next few weeks (in the case of Exposé, the day this edition hits the shelves) that societies, sports clubs and medias will start selecting their new committees; for those not versed in Guild affairs, the senior management personnel who generally are tasked with running such groups. Over the past year they have slaved over malfunctioning copies of inDesign, toiled atop an overflowing cashbox and overseen athletic triumphs and torment all for your enjoyment. These are the unspoken giants of the university experience, and campus won’t be the same without them.
Of course, it’s out with the old and in with the new. War-hardened third- and fourth-years are routinely replaced with rosy-cheeked freshers or second-years, eyes filled with unbridled awe and innocence. However, it’s awfully tough to let go. To paraphrase that great source of advice, Doctor Who, for those departing everything they are dies and a brand-new committee goes sauntering away. Though I may have changed the context there from cellular regeneration to the committee handover process, the message remains the same.
The experience is a strange mixture of euphoria and depression verging on the tear-inducing. It is the ultimate expression of the phrase “bittersweet”; though you know in your heart and mind that your successors are wonderful people and will undoubtedly continue and subsequently improve upon the work you’ve put into a certain sector of campus life, there’s something decidedly mortifying about it all. You hear them discussing giddying plans for Welcome Week and think to yourself “Oh, goody – I can’t wait to be there for tha- oh, wait. I’ll be on the dole.” Suddenly the year(s) that you spent standing outside Natwest in the freezing cold for six hours flyering for Shampus sodding Shinema seem all the more meaningful, tinted in a mental sepia and backed by poignant violin strings.
As such, I’d like to applaud and thank absolutely everyone who’s sadly leaving their posts at the end of this year: you’ve all done terrific jobs and my – as well as everyone else’s – Exeter experience would not have been the same without you. May flights of FI1 Budget Application Forms sing thee to thy rest.