So, a quick disclaimer, obviously we didn't break in (walking in through a window that is open; not a break-in), it wasn't technically mine or Alfie's birthday, (Martin's was the day before, but he was hungover in bed) and yes, I was scared all the way through. Also, not alllll the photos were taken by myself, thank you very much photographer number 2, Alfie. (THREE CHEERS)
Alfie and I decided that is would be the best idea ever to look around the old Hastings College site. It has been laying empty for a good couple of years, and many urbex-ers have explored this site, as have many graffiti artists and squatters.
Looking around the site brings back memories I have, of getting my hair cut there, learning about art (I first studied here in 2005, a fresh-faced 16 year old falling in LOVE with art). It's not just my memories that exist in these walls, so many worked, studied and visited here it's sad to see it fall apart.
Especially when the ages people attended, in the UK we used to leave school at 16 and chose what it is we want to do with our lives. I chose HCAT (Hastings College of Arts & Technology) to be where I wanted to hide, learn and grow. It was a tumultuous time for me, and it must have been for others too. Suddenly having freedom, to wear our clothes day in day out, being able to legally buy cigarettes and illegally buy booze (& subsequently drink on the beach), and having SO MUCH free time.
So many people more than likely had pivotal moments in this place; relationships, romantic and otherwise were formed, and maybe many still flourish. I know that some of my ownrelationships made at college are still so important to me (looking at you Alf).
I also like the thought that Martin and I attended the same college at the same time, but never knew or spoke to each other. I like that he didn't know me then, and I like that we both have different memories of the same place, it's nostalgic in a good way to compare field notes of HCAT days.
Some of the graffiti makes me sad and cringe though, slurs about another girl the writer knew. It reminds me how nasty and cruel children are, and they are vile. Working in schools and obviously going through the school system myself I knew this, but as school becomes a distant sore memory for me, this graffiti really hit me hard. I'm still thinking of it.
It's no secret I was pulled out of school for my health and wellbeing, and it's no surprise. Part of me starts to wonder about the subject, the girl this graffiti is about, is she too cutting her legs in the middle of the night and praying she doesn't have to go to school?
I hope not, I really do. Although I'm not her, I remember, and yes, it does still hurt.