I have spent today attempting to create a LinkedIn profile without screaming blue murder at my poor inoffensive laptop screen or curling up in a little ball of despair on the floor, sucking my thumb and whimpering incoherently about a lack of business connections. At one point I caught myself asking my decidedly non-sentient LinkedIn profile if it were an employability test in itself. Then I tweeted about how difficult setting up a LinkedIn profile is in a desperate attempt to prove that I can use social media. As you can see, life after university is going just swimmingly.
Anyway, once I had worked out how to use LinkedIn and stopped thinking about running away to join a circus (it would never have worked out: I can’t juggle, I don’t like clowns, and I’m not quite short enough to be a tourist attraction) I plundered my CV for the ‘Experience’ section. In so doing, I rediscovered a bullet point mentioning a piece I had written nearly three years ago about university life in Falmouth for the apparently now non-existent website, Students Love Uni.
“When you think of Falmouth, you think of family holidays by the seaside: ice cream, fairy lights, and postcards. It is all very quaint, and quintessentially British. It’s old fashioned. It’s nice. And by ‘nice’ – a word that covers all manner of sins – what you really mean is that you’d rather be in the Bahamas, but at least it’s more picturesque than Luton. What you probably wouldn’t think of in relation to Falmouth is a thriving student community, underground club scene, or shooters named after childhood demons: cue the Cookie Monster.
It should be made very clear that Falmouth is not a typical university experience, nor in any way a city. If you want three years of grimy, urban, city living then the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus (UECC) is not for you. There isn’t an Oceana. Carnage UK is probably never, ever going to visit. Traffic noise won’t wake you up, but seagulls might. So yes, Falmouth is not a city, but it’s not pretending to be one. Falmouth is vibrant, intimate and arty. It is the underground; the non-obvious. It’s the band you like because nobody’s heard of them. It’s the clothes you buy because they’re not from Arcadia Group. How cool or original are you ever going to feel ordering vodka shots in some huge city club chain? Ordering a ‘Slippery Nipple’ though, in a tiny, dingy, cramped club somewhere as quietly unassuming as Falmouth? The balance of cool between large city universities and Falmouth is like André the Giant as Fezzik in cult hit The Princess Bride vs. Brad Pitt as Achilles in Hollywood flop Troy (yeah so it’s rated 7/10 on IMDB but the only good thing about that film was the costume design). Sure, Brad Pitt’s the obvious choice, but, let’s face it, Fezzik would totally own Achilles. It would be embarrassing.
Falmouth is cool, colourful, and eclectic. It is not somewhere to fit in; to hide amongst the crowd. It is somewhere to stand out. It is versatile, an assault on all senses. It is acoustic music floating out of a window overlooking the beach, but it’s also dubstep and drum and bass pounding out of a crowded underground club. It is toffee and shortbread and ice cream, but it’s also a dangerous mix of weird spirits in shots with equally dangerous names. It is incredibly beautiful and peaceful, but it’s also unabashedly riotous. It is the postcard you think you recognise, but flip that postcard over and the blank space is yours to write in. Falmouth, in short, can be whatever you want it to be.”
It’s unashamedly cheesy and not the best thing I’ve ever written, but looking back on how enthusiastic I was about living in this place which I’m soon to be leaving is rather poignant. So much has changed: the shot named the Cookie Monster has vanished from a night out along with the bar from where it was bought; and my favourite underground club is now a rather delicious burger restaurant, but a burger restaurant nonetheless.
The most saddening change though is the fact that despite my love for the sea, the people, and the food, I am leaving this little seaside town in just a matter of weeks.
P.S. At some point in the near future I will post Farewell Falmouth Part II, which will probably be incredibly soppy and will either make you want to visit Falmouth, or never leave. Be warned.