A week of goodbyes

It’s all starting to get real now….

In less than two weeks, I will be out of every form of comfort zone i’ve ever known, thrown in the deep end of backpacking with the onslaught of India. I’m obviously excited, but seem to mix that with bouts of sheer panic due to the great unknown.

This week has definitely been a week of goodbyes. 4 leaving events in 7 days between the two of us. So many people have turned out so far and we’ve still got 2 more to go! This post is dedicated to all the legendary people who took the time to come out and send us off in style.

We threw a leaving party on Saturday in my village, and expected about 20 people to turn up. Over the duration of the day I think we had closer to 40, including some of my old housemates I haven’t seen for over 5 years. It was actually the first time our whole Uni house had been together since 2011, which was amazing!  It’s quite reassuring to know that even after so long, you can still just chat like you saw them yesterday. We had two groups of Uni mates rock up and join us, local mates, and family. It was actually the first time my two cousins (from other ends of the family) had met each other; crazy! Kelly had all her bridesmaids in a room together too, so overall it was a rather special day. I had so much fun I didn’t even take any photos! A BIG shout out needs to go out to Kelly who made this into a surprise 30th birthday party (I turn 30 in Vietnam so would’t see any of my mates or family). I cannot begin to thank her enough. Not only did I not have a clue this was happening, but she obviously went to a great deal of effort to keep it a secret. Kelly, you are my rock, and you bloody rock! Thankyou xx

Last night, I had my leaving drinks with my Cambridge colleagues. So many amazing colleagues came out to say goodbye, and so many had really kind words to say. It’s still not really sank in that i’m not going to see so many of them for over a year. I am so lucky to work with such an incredible and passionate bunch of colleagues, and so many will be missed (fortunately, the ones that didn’t turn up were the ones that won’t be missed too much)! About 40 people turned up over the evening, and those that were in for the long haul certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves (not sure how much they enjoyed life today though).

Tomorrow is Kelly’s last day at work, and has a leaving lunch with about 40 colleagues. Thursday is my last day, and i’m having my Chelmsford leaving drinks (my base campus). I said goodbye to my manager today, and some colleagues I work very close with. I still don’t feel like this is real…

As I come to my last day of working for a year, I’ve found myself reflecting on all the amazing things that me and my team have achieved over the past few years, and all the stuff that’s happened at ARU since I was SU President. The University is literally nothing like the place I turned up to in 2005. Literally everything is better, from the teaching to the student experience. There’s so much i’m so proud of I would literally need it’s own post just to cover it all. Don’t worry, I won’t be writing that one just yet 🙂

To finish, I just want to say thank you again to my colleagues and friends who joined me on Saturday, or Monday, or Thursday. I’ve been humbled by the turnout and the love that’s been shared over the last week. I care so much about so many of you, and can’t tell you how much i’ll miss you (well, some of you). You know who you are! There will be so many days whilst away when I will be thinking and missing you all i’m sure, but right now I just want to get this week out of the way, so I can relax (sorta) and start thinking about the next year of madness.

So with that, Matt OUT (no, i’m not comparing myself to Obama, it just seemed like a nice way to end it).


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