“The wonderful bubble world of Cathays” – Tim


Just over three years have now passed since I first started life as a student here in Cardiff. three years of living in what, I, personally can only characterise as a bubble. A big shiny bubble cast from the disposed fairy liquid bottle that is the ‘studentville’ land of Cathays. This bubble is itself filled with smaller bubbles, with posh, flip-flop wearing, hands-free talking, ‘Walkabout loving’ numpties living inside. These smaller bubbles bounce along in unison to an overplayed Kings of Leon track in the glorified infant school disco that is the Cardiff Student Union. Wait a second … it gets better. These bubbles are not bouncing around without purpose, oh no, they do have purpose these bubbles … yeah; they call it ‘a degree’. So this bubble world is now even better, because all the bubble people bounce around in lecture halls to the bemused expressions of unshaven ‘slightly good looking in a weird way’ lecturers who have no idea why they themselves are even here in this strange smelly bubble world.  So, all we need now is Sean Bean to narrate this, because it’s already looking like an O2 advert.

Allow me to speak personally about my place in this bubble world. When I first arrived in Cathays as a fresher, I was an Alien. I was at first, bubble free. Before I knew it however, I was walking around in a bubble that was a lot bigger than everyone else’s. To put it more plainly, I was a massive twat. Living in the absolute shite hole that is Senghennyd Court, or rather ‘Senghetto’, (yes, I was not the only massive twat) myself and my bubble friends drank a lot of alcohol, damaged a lot of playing cards and drank a lot of alcohol. Looking not too dissimilar to a homeless man’s first bubble bath, my bubble self and my bubble friends soaked Cardiff by crowding into pubs and clubs dressed as golfers, becoming emotionally attached to fish and chip shops workers and constantly singing, or rather belching the words ‘House G!’ everywhere we went, in homage to our decrepit nest.

I would like to say that when starting this article, I did actually plan just to refer to Cathays and University life in general as one singular bubble. This was so that later on I could make an insightful, meaningful point about the bubble bursting when you graduate and how all of us ex students have to struggle to find our place in this world. But then I thought fuck it, that’s boring and students annoy me too much now so I am going to have a good old fashioned moan about them. This is the thing really. I wanted to illustrate Cardiff University students living in bubbles because it is the one style of life that inevitably has to end, the same way in which bubbles eventually have to pop. When this experience does end, and your shaking the hand of that ‘bloke’ at the graduation ceremony, it feels very much like you’ve been popped by a massive drawing pin. You then find yourself flapping around on the floor, gasping for air like an ambitious fish that wanted to see more of the world outside of his fish tank. However after jumping out of the tank, he realises when it’s too late that he cannot actually breath in this world. I, myself am one of those graduate people and in between trying to be a sitcom writer, playing Fifa 12 and furiously masturbating, I sometimes chat with my friends about how different we all were back then or rather, ‘how silly we were’.

When you try looking at all this objectively, I think you actually realise that maybe, the bubble has not actually burst. Instead, the bitter little masturbating graduate inside probably feels like that they don’t deserve to be like they once were in their student days because life is now apparently ‘hard’. Well it’s not though is it? The fear is based on having to get a job isn’t it? A boring job that everyone inevitably has to get stuck into. So, to all you graduates out there, get back in your bubbles and bounce around like you once did. Bounce around and be annoying by talking to your friends in the street really loudly so that other people can hear how cool your are, go out and get blind drunk … I can hear ‘Sex on Fire’ already.

After graduating from Cardiff with some degree to do with Religious Studies, Timothy Collins currently still resides in Cathays, and outside of working in the University libraries he is attempting to get to grips with sitcom and comedy theatre writing.  He also does other things. For example … erm, what else does he do? Oh yeah. BUGGER ALL!

Tim was photographed in The Vulcan Lounge in Cathays by Doug Nicholls




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