About fifteen minutes ago (so it feels like, but according to records it was September 1992) I landed at Lancaster University as a fresher. I can still see it as a film, smell the cleaning fluid corridors, taste the tears, terrified in my bare room, burying into my cuddly panda for comfort. Time to be an adult.
Everyone has a different relationship with their home town, both growing up and as adults. Some can't wait to escape, others never want to leave. We all lead our own lives and must make these decisions for ourselves, so I would never judge someone for doing what makes them happy. But our home towns are just one tiny corner of a large planet, which has a whole lot of stuff to offer.
What I thought was going to be a light hearted entertainment show turned into a much deeper exploration of the role of men within society. Due to the rise of feminism, women are more successful than ever and it does leave you wondering if this shift in the sexes has turned some men (not ALL - but certainly the ones on the show) into boys?
In a true display of girl power, Girlguiding UK now officially backs the 'No More Page 3' campaign, a testament to an adaptable, forward-thinking youth organisation. Despite my own short fling with Guiding, I think this demonstrates the enduring potential for the group to give a solid grounding for young women in the UK.
Reflecting on all of this only clarifies the VAGINA SHAMING that I've been exposed to for my whole life. Maybe there's something in the very anatomical detail of it being 'hidden' (compared to the penis) that means you're just not allowed to talk about it. It goes along with the idea that women ought to keep calm and carry on.
Ridiculous as it sounds, I am convinced that this gap between adolescence and irrefutable adulthood lacks the cultural signposts available to other age groups. It's unsurprising that writers and directors turn to the supposedly hedonistic seventeen to twenty-one year olds or the nest-building thirty-odds for much of their inspiration.