It’s been a difficult week and a half since finishing exams, since the week has been one long drawn-out goodbye to everything here. BREAK Staying up late means getting up late means reluctance to get started on my summer projects and summer reading until getting home tomorrow. So each day I feel sad about leaving, wait out the day until it’s time to spend time with friends in the evening, and then the next day feel sad again, without any closure since I don’t know whether or not that’ll be the last time I see the people I have just seen either for a while or forever.

The two proper social events for leaving, which I had at the end of last week, were good. On Friday night we had schools dinner with all the third and fourth year mathematicians and joint schools and various tutors. Since most of the time we spend with tutors are in academic situations, in which we are decidedly not their equals, it was really great that on Friday I did feel equal to them; though of course our relationship with our tutors is not friendship in the usual sense, having been in the Balliol community together for four years means that we do have a strong relationship.

On Saturday night we had the final bop of term. The theme was The Nineties and I played a set mixing mostly nineties dance with a little K-pop and some Rihanna, which proved to be very popular so it was nice to have that opportunity. Since so much of the room was younger than me—this term in particular the freshers look like children to my eyes—it wasn’t as significant for me as last year was but still an ending. We tried to go out afterwards but all the clubs were full so at around 1am around sixty Balliolites stood around on Cornmarket for half an hour or so; this was pretty strange.

I’m not so sad to be leaving behind the academic life I’ve lived here. I think that this is because I’ve had various different tutors and I’ve only had each one for a few months at a time, so I’ve never grown attached to one particular area of philosophy or style of learning (exception being Bob’s death last year). I know that the things I have learnt about here I can carry on developing my understanding of; there’s no sense in which anything intellectual is ending.

My social life here has been far more continuous. Huge numbers of people have drifted in and out of my life over the past four years, in most cases brought together by shared membership of Balliol. There’s the small number of people with whom I have very strong relationships, and I suppose not much will change with those people except we’ll see each other a lot less frequently. But then there are all the people who I know, and might sit and talk to for three quarters of an hour in the JCR, who I either won’t see ever again or who I will see very rarely and will never be quite as comfortable with. And there are legions and legions of these people: undergrads spanning maybe six or seven years, and some post-grads too. I think that’s the biggest thing I’m leaving behind: the Balliol community, and some small part of the wider Oxford University community. And all the things that we did together, usually organised communally, officially or unofficially through the JCR and College.