I have often heard people say: “Oh I can’t bounce back after a night out like the youngsters can!” But that’s generally from the lips of someone middle-aged who indulged in one too many glasses of Merlot the night before. Or so I thought. I certainly didn’t think that would be me at the age of 22. And more horrifying, I can’t believe I just used it as an excuse for not going out on a Friday night! What’s happened to me?? I barely recognise myself!
It was a monumental weekend in Nottingham that did it. The Occasion: a fellow ex-Trenter’s birthday, a.k.a. the perfect excuse (although any will do) for a massive reunion, when everyone can escape the reality of having a job/bills/responsibilities etc. Whether it’s a case of everyone getting caught up in the excitement of revisiting their former student days or just pure over-indulgence, there was a significant increase in hand-to-mouth drinking action going on. ‘What is she complaining about?’ I hear you think, but either my stamina has diminished or they’ve strengthened the sprits in Ocean! Whatever the reason, it has rarely been the case that five people on a 2 hour train journey failed to piece together the hours that passed in Ocean the night before. Photographs prove informative. Flashbacks prove mortifying. Luckily, the ability to laugh at each other hasn’t escaped us.
However, I find myself worried about my depleting tolerance to Nottingham’s social scene. It’s like I’ve outgrown my Trent Army status and now have a stamp on my forehead saying, “Don’t belong here!” Even more frightening is the shared opinion amongst ex-Trenters that after a long (and often stressful) day at the office, there’s nothing more satisfying than sitting mindlessly in front of the TV unwinding. 11pm is no longer the time to shout “Cab’s are here!” – it’s the time for lights out. And before you jump in and say you’ll never think like that, this came from a group of people you could guarantee to see on the dance floor or at the bar several nights a week! What a difference nine months makes…
Whilst I try to cling on to all those who are still living in the Trent bubble, despite most being submerged in that black hole of third year dissertation, I now recognise my denial in saying bye bye to my student days. However, having spoken with fellow Trent Army comrades (circa 1998) who still reminisce about the ‘good old days’ and believe they’re never too old to go back (ummm…late 30s… I’m thinking Ocean have an age limit, right?), I agree I’ll always be wishing I could go back and live those three years again and again.
As much as I like to cling onto this Peter Pan idea, reality tells me it’s time to factor in the daily Berocca and anti-wrinkle cream.