It occurred to me when all of the new baby freshers started appearing in Leeds (I can tell they're all appearing as their trolleys full of supernoodles and frying pans getting in my way in the aisles of Morrisons when I'm trying to buy excessive amounts of chocolate and biscuits...) that 5 years have passed since I was squished between six thousand boxes and bags in the back of my Dad's car and driven across the pennines to my new home in Leeds. At that point I had no idea whatsoever what the next few days were going to be like, let alone have any inkling that I'd still be here with no intentions of leaving five years on.
Looking at all these new little people in my city (and silently judging the horrific quantity of baseball caps that the youth of today seem to possess) made me think back to my own 18 year old self finding my way through this strange new city I was going to be calling home for the next three years of my life. All through sixth form I'd been massively excited for my big move to Leeds but a few weeks before I was due to leave I suddenly got really scared of the big unknown world I was going to be jumping into. So much so that I managed to pull some strings to get a place on a course at Liverpool University instead and was all set to change my mind about where I was going. Until the admissions tutor at Liverpool told me I needed to officially give up my place at Leeds before they'd accept me. I did everything I could not to have to do this and buried my head in the sand for a few days but eventually put two and two together and realised my reluctance to give up my place at Leeds was probably to do with the fact that deep down I knew I was doing the right thing moving there.
At this time of year, I always end up thinking about how different my life could have been if I'd accepted that place at Liverpool back in 2008. In the end, I made the complete right decision- I've grown up so much in the last few years (in some ways at least... there's still a big part of me that thinks I'm only about 15!) and most of that is to do with making Leeds my home, making roots in a new place and meeting some of the best people in the world in the process.