A Smurf's Sunday
Lily is 19 and from Kingston-upon-Thames. She's studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at York University. Will she survive studentdom on the road to graduation?
Its another quiet Sunday in D-block for our Lily. Meanwhile, she reflects on her night as a Smurf and wonders whether God kicks a kitten every time a charity collector gets ignored on the street.
Sundays are the longest days. I've never been entirely comfortable with Sundays, and now that I'm a student they are the bane of my life. I've spent some glorious Sundays sitting around in pyjamas watching all three series of Black Books and munching on popcorn. Even so, there is always that risk that I spend all Sunday alone because nobody else has got out of bed. I assure you, I like sleep, too. In fact, I can sleep for a very long time. However, my propensity for sleep pales in comparison to that of my co-habitants in D block. How can you really stay comfortably in bed until five in the evening? And yes, five is the evening; it's no longer the afternoon, because by that time you've missed the afternoon, and the only reason you saw any morning was because you were still awake past midnight. How can you handle that without your body clock being horribly confused? I like daylight - I even want to see it sometimes - and I also prefer if, on the whole, it's dark when I go to bed. Call me old-fashioned, but my body clock gets upset if I do these things too often.
Twiddling my lonely thumbs
So yesterday I made the mistake of having an 'early' night (I got to bed at about half-past one) and now it's not even eleven o'clock in the morning and I'm already up. I may not see anyone for hours. These Sundays can be long and lonely.
The thing is, I could easily fill these hours. For example, I can't see my desk, so it would probably be beneficial to remedy that by tidying it. Currently, I can see my cheque book, a calculator, Spanish flashcards, six CD cases, four mugs, two folders, a million sheets of paper and three textbooks, but not my desk. In addition to this, Kant and I could do with being better acquainted for the exam on Thursday. But while I'm in this self-pitying 'why doesn't anyone love me enough to wake up and give me some company?' mood, I still won't do anything useful. I will sit here feeling rejected and playing music a little too loudly in the hope that someone might wake up.
"I feel like something terrible happens every time someone is so blatantly ignored - maybe God kicks a kitten, or a piece of my soul breaks off."
I shouldn't complain, though; this past week has been crazily busy. One day of doing nothing shouldn't kill me. Actually, I seem to say most weeks are crazily busy, but this week has been exceptional: I've been a Smurf, a living advert and a bucket holder. Firstly, it was Steph's Smurfday party, so there was no way of avoiding full body paint and a daft costume. Two days later I was being scrawled on with marker pen in a club, as I was posing as a living advert for our debating society, York Union. Then, two days after that, I went from attracting a lot of attention (as you'd expect being a giant Smurf or a human advert) to attracting little to no attention, shaking a bucket for charity.
Shake that bucket, baby
Oh, the rejection I have felt collecting money for the Hitch to Morocco! From now on I am always going to say 'no, thank you' to people collecting money, instead of doing that terrible head-turn and swift walk. They see the bucket, suddenly their pace quickens, they're walking faster and there's something very, very interesting in the opposite direction. Seriously, I don't mind if people say 'no' to making a donation - I even expect it! But when they can't look at you it's a little demoralising. I feel like something terrible happens every time someone is so blatantly ignored - maybe God kicks a kitten, or a piece of my soul breaks off. Nevertheless, we battled on with light banter, singing and dancing. We even gave away lollipops for every donation.
"Would you like to make a charitable donation, sir? We can offer you a large lollipop in return! Well, the donation isn't for the lollipop, it's for children in Africa... Have a very good evening!" This is followed by a merry jig, a smile, and a shake of the bucket. There were some people who really made it worth our while, such as the girl who stopped us when we were walking home with our bucket and asked us if she could donate, the guy who gave us a five pound note but didn't say a word, the girls who emptied all their coppers they'd been collecting into our bucket, and the ones who promised to come back once they'd got change from buying a drink and actually did. Oh, and the fact that after last night we've reached our target so we'll actually be going to Morocco! Lesley and I have spent many an hour shaking that bucket outside of college events - the security guards have even got to know us - and now all that's left is the scary yet exciting part of planning routes and actually hitching!
In fact, that could be something useful to start doing now - looking at maps on the internet and reading my guidebook. Or maybe not... Instead, I think I'll go and noisily make another cup of tea in the kitchen, read New Woman for the eighth time and hope for some company. Sigh.