The world always spins. Things change, but you weather your way through it. It’s on this course that you find things to fill up your time. Maybe it’s getting to know people. Maybe it’s attaching yourself to places or becoming part of a scene. Maybe it’s running headfirst into a brick wall. In my case, I took up student media – very much all three at once.
I joined SURGEtv as a starry-eyed fresher three years ago. In that time, I’ve had a blast and it’s definitely the best thing I’ve done at uni. I’ve grown so much from doing it, and finally learnt that I can be happy with my true self.
A lot of that learning and socialising happened in a tiny little office in the basement of the SUSU building. The “studio”. It was deep underground, with no windows or natural light. Almost completely isolated from the rest of SUSU, let alone the world, and with no phone signal whatsoever.
I still remember the first time I came down there. It was cold, it was stuffy. The only light was one of those long, sterile halogen ones that you make feel like you’re in a hospital. The room was a hoarder’s paradise, with seats squeezed in between tons of storage. And for some reason, a leaky sink precariously placed next to the station’s most expensive kit.
But most importantly, there was a whiteboard. Full to the brim with the dumb things people say.
“Have good taste, then you won’t catch chlamydia”
“Go on then, show me his penis”
“Anya is single” (Anya is, incidentally, still single.)
Honestly, that board sold me on the very concept of TV in a heartbeat. Not only was it all fantastic advice for life, but it also showed me instantly that there was a community here. The space lived and breathed. It wasn’t just a place to make videos; it was a community. If they could make a place as oppressive as this feel homely, it must be bloody great. And I loved my time at TV. I stuck in and ended up on that whiteboard in no time at all.
Though, unfortunately, my best contribution was “I’m sure this virus will blow over”.
COVID really ended the studio vibes. Sure, the office still existed in the COVID years, but it wasn’t a space where you could hang out anymore. I am part of that last cohort who remembers the days of the old office. In September, it’ll just be me left that really remembers those times.
In many ways, our new office makes a lot more sense. It’s the biggest space we’ve ever had, it’s the nicest, most up-to-date. It’s also the easiest space to get to – come and visit us, we’re lonely. But you can’t help but reminisce.
But to me, thinking about being “the last” is just one gloomy way of looking at it all. Sure, I will be the last person to have known the old office properly still kicking about. But, on the other hand, I’m the first Station Manager in the new space.
All lasts have a first attached. Life is a constant series of ends and starts, and to me, it’s about making the best of the new ones. It’s scary, but it’s going to keep moving, and you should move with it.
I went down to the old office about three hours ago, just for curiosity’s sake. Today it’s just activity storage, the same furniture but the soul has long been sucked out.
In other news, Surge has just bought a brand new whiteboard.