Ernest’s first year had passed like a blur and he had come top of his class. In fact he realised he had studied far more than he needed to, but now he had a feeling he should be able to study smarter and use his remaining time for other things. He had heard the talk in the freshers week about becoming a well rounded student and not leaving with just a degree. It had got him thinking, up till now he had never had a job and he felt perhaps it was time. There was a little bit of money left over from his father’s estate to help him through University and provide him with a house but it wouldn’t be anything grand, so any extra he could earn would come in useful.



He looked around campus for suitable opportunities and came across the local student coffee shop the cactus café. He had talked to Vyn and she gave him some pointers on what to say and he managed to convince the owner to give him a try out. Ernest wasn’t just looking forward to the money from working, but he also wanted to come into contact with more people. He never quite knew what to say to people and naturally avoided meeting new people unless he had to, which made parties a nightmare. This way he could meet new people and not be expected to say anything too startling and if he felt brave maybe he could try some small talk whilst he made their coffee.

He soon settled in at the cactus café and although it was scary serving people he felt his confidence growing. He still wouldn’t be able to approach someone at a party but at least if they now asked him a question, they would stand a chance of getting a reply. Ernest managed to fit his studying round his shifts without his grades suffering. The increase in confidence also meant he slowly managed to get to know a few of the guys on his course.  

By the end of the second year he was glad at his progress and as he sat with Vyn after his second year exams eating dinner, he was discussing his year with her. Vyn agreed with him that he had changed and that working had done him good. Then she looked down and started toying with her food and said “You aren’t quite a fully rounded student yet you know? There is one thing you have left out of your education” Ernest looked confused and replied “What’s that?” “Romance” Vyn mumbled.





Ernest had to admit she was right, it hadn’t really occurred to him so far, not that there weren’t pretty girls on campus, but they seemed like alien creatures; always in groups and always giggling together, only Vyn was easy to talk to and even she had some funny moments. Ernest’s silence prompted Vyn to continue“Time for coffee I think, do you want some?” Ernest nodded slowly, his thoughts still on what she had said. Maybe next year he would try romance.