The first of September has always marked new beginnings within my field of signifiers and signified. The oldest September first I was taught about is the start of World War 2. The most significant September first to me is definitely the one seven years ago, when I boarded a plane from Gdansk to Leeds that took me with a person who had never flown before but came prepared with suitcase zip locks to a boarding school where I spent the two years that followed.
We flew to Leeds, took the bus to the train station, boarded the train to Scarborough (to this day I do love both the Leeds and Scarborough train stations, though it’s obvious that the Leeds one is way way more impressive). In Scarborough we got into a taxi, though most times in the future we would take the bus. It was a marker of being-from-there, an established member of the student community (or the fact of travelling with one), to take the bus confidently and calmly. Getting to school by bus was a skill – you had to know which one of the countryside twists and turns you have to press the stop button at to get off the bus before it goes down the hill. If you’re too late you’ll have to scramble back up the hill with the 30+ kg of your luggage.
We went to a boarding school, of course, and the first year of my studying there was probably the best year of my life as of yet. The end of uni was fun but nothing compares to properly living abroad for the first time.