A frightening thoughts just came over me. I’m already, teachnically about 1/9th of the way through my University career. This time in two and a half months, 2/9ths. To me, that’s incredible. For over 12 months, starting towards the end of my time in year 12, University – the visits, discussions and applications – dominated my life. A never ending struggle to prevent a doomsday end-of-my-life. If anything went wrong, the chances were I would be finished as a person (this, I can see now is not technically true, but it felt – and still does to a certain extent still does feel – that way).
Yet here I am, about to return back to campus after the the christmas holidays, and already a sizeable proportion of the my further-education career has been taken out.
I have already looked over my first few months as a student. I have documented well throughout the past year my concerns and my fears, as well as hopes and aspirations. Some of those are still being realised. The Nick whose words you’re reading now is different to that of barely a few months ago. That doesn’t mean I have changed – indeed I realise now that I have merely undergone experience. Experience of a life for which I had not yet had.
I am not a fool – I realise my life doesn’t end here. This is not the end-game for which the first few years of my life were a build up to. It is merely a stepping stone onto the next stage – the longest and most brutal part, my working life. I have largely consigned my aspirations of becoming a commercial pilot to my dreams (situation dependent of course, I’ll never rule out opportunities to enter this occupation). Other than that, I have had a variety of different career paths that I at some point had intended on going down: computing, some aviation-related job, politics and teaching. To be quite frank it is, some how, even more of a mystery to me now of what I’ll be going into.
I am stuck. This needs to change soon, although I won’t rush it. I am not so unsure of things in addition to my career that I want to do. Indeed, I have a bucket list of things I hope to achieve in my life. A select few of those include: becoming a published author, attaining a high-level in refereeing and running an online community. None of these are impossible, but all of them are a challenge. I hope to achieve that in my upcoming future.
The central main career I have, however, remains unknown to me at this moment in time. I am not entirely sure if I want to get back in the classroom, the toils and conflicts of politics and ground level work in politics is a little disillusioning, a job in aviation not in the cockpit will probably be too heartbreaking. I am ruling none of these out. These are merely reasons why I have not chosen those specific areas as my definite aim. All careers have their ups and downs, and I hope in the next year or so I can weigh them up properly so that I choose I will enjoy. I do want to work for a living – it is no secret that if you enjoy your job, you’ll never have to work again in your life. That is something I most definitely want.
Thankfully, time is on my side. I haven’t got ages, but time nonetheless. I sense that I want a job which features ‘performances’. By I don’t mean acting or anything, rather a job which culminates in specific events for which the general public can use or enjoy. In transport, for example, people take journeys – this journey is the ‘performance’ and something which they can grade. In the entertainment business, your work culminates in an event, for which the public can enjoy. Working in teams, making things happen, making people happy – that’s something I want to do.
But of course that’s a very generic list of features – it can still apply to pretty much any business or sector. Products and services are made to be used, and the best are succesful. The more I think about it, the more confusing it becomes, and so I end up back at square one.
Perhaps the next ninth of my University career can shed light on this. I had hoped my aspirations had become more streamlined by now. I fear they have actually become more broad.
Looking at my blog these days, I find it’s a bit of a sorry sight. Never before have I gone such long stretches between posts. Never before have they been so irrelevant and, to be frank, so tacky. Writing something like this is something which I promised myself I would never actually do. I find that most blogs (excluding the 90% which are never updated), spend most of 95% of their time ‘promising’ their readers that they will get back to updating soon, with only the other 5% being actual genuine content. This is what annoys me most blogs – I did not come to read about how you’ve been busy and that you will personally see to it that you will get back to writing (which you never actually do). I came to hear about what you have to say. Whilst most people couldn’t give a monkey’s about what other people have to say, those that do go about viewing blogs, do so because they perhaps value their opinion, find it interesting, or just want to see what tosh they’ve written about now.
And yet despite this, I find myself here typing out the exact sort of stuff I promised I never would. It’s a remarkable turnaround and most certainly not one I am glad I’m doing. But for me, these are extraordinary times. I’m at University now – and as far as I can tell, I’ve changed. Those quite nights I cherished are few and far between. Saturday evenings usually do not go by now in my room. Sadly, it was these sorts of times that I usually wrote my blogs. Take them out of the equation and combine them with irrational sleeping patterns and over-procrastinated work and you find very little time out of your preferred schedule to sit down and write.
I have made it no secret that I find maintaining blogs a burden – whilst you can chug out 800-word posts nearly daily when you first set out, sooner or later you find that you’re wasting your time. As you move to writing meaningful stuff and start to target particular people (on top of becoming obsessed with viewing figures), the enjoyment is sapped away. It becomes serious business – and there’s no fun in serious business.
I think back to why I started writing: I liked having my own website; I liked having a corner of the internet to call my own; I liked the idea people can search me up and see what I get up to; I liked trying to build a name for myself. In the grand scheme of things all of the above is irrelevant. Having your own website means diddly-squat. No matter how much content you have, no matter how ‘professional’ you’ve made everything, if you have a website then good for you. That’s it. If you want to build a name for yourself, there are plenty of other ways to go about it (although this doesn’t involve an assault weapon and a crowded area).
Perhaps that’s the whole reason I went about setting up a website. When I first did so, back in 2005, I was all but a new boy in a frighteningly big Secondary School. When I streamlined by barrage of blogs, forums and pages into the one nickcampion.de, I was an oddity of a year-10 student. Largely unknown to even the people within my own year group, I probably wrote to put my name out there.
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have bothered. There are so many other different things I could’ve been doing then needlessly pondering over a website in front of me on a computer screen for most of my free time. It’s stupid – you can get a lot of viewers, but at the end of the day no one gives a damn.
This is precisely the problem. I have no reason to want to write anymore. I couldn’t care less about telling people what I think. I don’t give a second thought to how many people viewed my blog in the last month. I have nothing interesting to say and no effort to say it. I don’t write here because I enjoy it – rather, because I feel that burden of having too. I don’t like websites that are not updated often: what a waste of resources. As long as nickcampion.de exists, I will write. If I don’t, the last few years of my life will truly have been a waste.
Undoubtedly this is the reason this place has degraded to a musings-of-my-life-only blog (that is, when I actually do write). I never intended for it to be this way, but it’s basically a consequence of all of the above. Keeping a blog going is not fun. And to be quite honest, I need more fun in my life.
Who knows though – perhaps one day that excitement I felt when I first started returns and once again I’ll be churning out all depths of my thought. I won’t even need to be a prolonged things: just the occasional idea of something to write. Sometimes it will match with a lull in University work and some free-time and hey-presto, more posts.
It’s a remarkable change of how I used to be. University itself didn’t start this – it’s been a long and drawn out death of the first era of my blogging career. As predicted back in September, I have changed a lot, consigning many things about me to their deaths.
On a lighter note, Christmas is just around the corner. It has felt that way since the day after my birthday at the end of October. Though I have said time and time and time again that the so-called ‘magical’ feeling you’re supposed to get is gone, it is still something I look forward to intensely. There’s something about ending a long year (particularly as eventful on a personal and non-personal level as 2012 has been) with cold winter-snaps, a warm comfortable home, food, that blasted Christmas tree, winter football.. it’s definitely not something I want to last, but for about a month I am very content with it all. It still signifies a part of me which, unlike everything else, has remained constant.
And if there was something that embodied that constant childlike part about me – it would be Christmas calendars. Mine is a little late this year, but I have one nonetheless. I don’t even eat the chocolate now, I just have the calendar in my room. This years is almost identical to the last two years. I remember writing last year – my last Christmas as a school-boy. How my life was changing for good. How I was both excited yet apprehensive.
I’m here now. A ninth of the way into my University career. Things have changed so rapidly yet I’ve barely realized (again).
Soon I’ll be writing about how upset I am to be leaving University and going into the working world. Not long after that, about my apprehension of entering my middle ages and my oncoming retirement. And after that still, my death (provided I get to live that long).
How thoroughly depressing. My life, and everyone else. With a bit of luck, come my death, I will achieved something. At the very least, to have not starved to death, to have some place I can call a home, a job that doesn’t make me want to rip my own skin off, and to not have alienated every person on the planet. With a bit more luck, I will have achieved something more special than that.
With a bit of luck.
A couple of days ago it occurred to me that I should write a blog post. Looking at my blog now as I write, the last one published was one entitled ‘The Final Farewell to Nick’. This wasn’t a goodbye-never-to-post-again, as some of you may have been hoping for, rather it was a farewell to the only Nick I knew, briefly mentioning my last dinner with my family before I left, and the coincidental and poetic encounter with a childhood friend. It was written in the late evening of my final night at home. Within a few minutes of publishing the article, I was headed off to bed and very much into the unknown.
But I promised that I’d soon return. I didn’t know when exactly, when I wrote the piece, but I did know it wouldn’t be any time soon. Whatever that time span would be, I was sure to be a very different person. Again, what quite that entailed, I didn’t know. It was all too far in the future, too distant for me to predict. How I’d look back on that post and those final few solemn days was anyone’s guess (at least, all those who were bothered to guess).
And then suddenly, I found myself nearly 2 months into University. That quite evening, with the big day ahead of me, is nothing more than a faint ‘historical’ moment that, had I not written about, I’d be uncertain as to whether it really happened.
But most of what I predicted, I got right. For all it’s worth, I feel very changed. I’m not the the kid having only just left my secondary school. I’ve been through a lot too, of which most I’m very glad to have done. I’ve moved on, grown up a bit more and ever so slightly closer to my death.
That’s not the only reason I’m writing today, however. Whilst staying on the topic of through time, I want to cast back to before I began attending University; before my holiday “with the lads”; before I messed up parts of my A-Levels… indeed, before I even knew what A-Levels were.
Back in September 2008, I was just starting year 10 at the tender age of 14. GCSE’s were the new big and scary thing for me and, as our Head of Year said (shortly before going mental to prove a point that we shouldn’t “dare piss around” with him) that things were now “getting serious”. I read on a friends blog how he sent himself an email that he’d receive in a year. For a few moments, I thought that was the greatest idea ever and decided to hastily piece together an email to be sent to myself in four years time on my birthday.
Having all but forgotten about that, on Wednesday 31st of October at just past 1pm, I received said email:
Since Juniour’s blog contained something about writing to himself in the future, I thought I’d give it a go.
I’m currently working on a game for Robert Muchamore. It’s loosely based on his upcoming series “Henderson’s boys”. It’s okay. I’m sort of what some may say is cheating by using FPS creator. But so long as I conseal all the give aways, I should be juuust right. I think by 2012, I’ll be around 18/19/20.. I’m too lazy to bother checking. By that time I’ll be chief executive of a highly successful softare development company creating call of duty, sim games, and other brain-rotting stuff. Either that or chief executive of British airways. I don’t know.
Now for the “Sissy” part. The bit where I wonder what I’ll be when I’m in my middle or so teens. Something successful duh! Oh I shouldn’t say that. I can just see me writing this email saying how good I am, then years later me reading this as some sort of a hobo that has snuck into an internet cafe. Very sneaky indeed.
Right.. what else am I doing that won’t be in 2012. Schopl of course. Year 10. Got GCSE and stuff. Don’t ask me about it, I haven’t a clue. I’ll just do it (whatever it is to do) when the time comes. Hehe.. comes.
Word count. Dang. Double dang. Aww catfish. Aww through the wall (I DIDN’T MAKE THAT BIT UP DAMMIT), Enough! Blib, blob, indeed, hmm Silence, .
I’m sure soon enough I’ll forget what that means. Not that I know what it means. Ooh! One question I was going to ask.. Will/did you ever get a ps3/xbox360/wii/ds/psp or whatever? Cause I really would like to know. I’ve got me a ps2 and am replaying Crash Bandicoot 1. It’s awsome.
One thing that isn’t awsome.. Elliott *shudders*.
Dang keep him out of these things.
Right. I am getting seriously bored now so, I shall now send. Goodbye.. no wait.. Hello… DAMMIT ME.
Nick, 14 (Well more 15 but legally I’m still 14. Sucks).
19:11 17.09.08 (:P I had to check the date).
It’s not as poetic as perhaps I would’ve liked it to be – I had thought I’d written a beautiful piece about growing up that would bring a tear to my eye when I would read it in 4 years time. As it turns out though, all I did was talk about a game I wasn’t even making, my extortionate or disastrously poor expectations of myself, my lack of any game console, my confusion at GCSE’s (because they were *so* hard)) and some other gibberish that I used to say. On top of that I spectacularly claimed that I’d still be in school and that I’d be in my mid-teens.
Yes, I don’t know what I was doing either. As much of a disappointment as the email was though, it highlights how annoyingly quick time seems to be flying by. In the last few months, I feel I’ve only been writing reminiscently about times gone by. That itself being a change from when I only used to look to the future. I hope it’s a cycle – looking back is awfully depressing.
But I’m still here. Despite all odds, I’ve survived. And all I can say to me in tomorrow-land, please don’t mess anything up, and I’ll try and make now really crap so you don’t have anything to look back on.