This hoodie, one of several I have from University, is the last Uni hoodie I bought.
It is for Katherine Fletcher Halls, room 14, at Edge Hill University, Lancashire (UK).
It represents for me the closing chapter of that period of my life, were I was leaving behind full time education, adolescence, childhood, unhappiness, heartache and fear. It represents the end of being in a woeful, unhappy place and the commencement of something brand new – my new life.
I’d spent 18 years in St Helens, unable to see through my childish vision, what the future had in store. I spent 3 years growing up too quickly. When I began University, I thought I knew the future and it was all lovely and mapped out.
Life, however, seldom behaves in the way you want it to. You want to drag its reigns hither and thither, push it into submission somehow, but you can’t. You end up learning, usually painfully, that you cannot create, map nor predict the future or in which direction you’ll end up travelling in.
If I had, as a wizened, scarred and solemn 21 year old, packing up my room for the very last time, told the springy, frivolous and joyful 18 year old unpacking her boxes for the first time what would happen in those three short years, she wouldn’t believe me.
The hoodie is a souvenir from one of the worst years of my life which, is indelibly printed into my cerebellum for all eternity. It is a reminder of where I came from to the present day and how my life has changed.
Did I imagine for a moment, when I ordered this hoodie, that one day I’d be driving my kids to school wearing it? Or changing my baby’s nappy wearing it? No, never.
This hoodie is the end, the epilogue, the bit before you close the back page.
I keep this hoodie and the others like it, out of pure sentimentality. Sometimes, you just have to remember.