The sky is the colour of wet tarmac as the train sighs and pulls out of Waterloo. The towers of Battersea power station pierce the low fog that rolls as silently as a shadow across the city. A jigsaw of terraced houses and a web of streets flash past the window, then the train shrugs off the final suburbs and bursts into countryside. A forever of fields and sky.
I am sitting on the 11:20 train from London in a Christmas jumper with reindeers leaping across my chest and snowflakes falling from my shoulders. It is the 20th of December, five days until Christmas.
My suitcases are heavy with presents and jumpers. A roll of gold wrapping paper pokes out of the corner of one bag.
It has been a long term. When I started the first week of my final year at university I was still shaky with the memories of glandular fever. I realised it had been nearly six months since I was last in class and working at my full capacity.
September was only four months ago but so much has happened. Perhaps most notably I have gone from being an unpaid intern to becoming a campaigner for fairer internships. In January I will start a new job at Intern Aware, the campaign I have been involved with for the past few months. My work so far has taken me to the Houses of Parliament and seen my name in the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Independent and the Observer. I have met some incredibly interesting people and feel fulfilled doing something I believe in. The more people I talk to and the more campaign work I do the stronger I feel about this issue: it is not fair that young people are excluded from jobs just because they cannot afford to work for free. I am looking forward to an exciting 2013: joining Intern Aware in January and graduating in the summer.
But for now I am heading to the Dorset countryside and to the small town where my family will be waiting for me behind a wreath bedecked front door. As I sit on the train I can nearly smell the pine of the Christmas tree and feel the warmth of the Aga. I think of my mum, my sister and my step-dad and my heart glows like a street full of Christmas lights.
I may be looking forward to 2013 and getting my teeth stuck into a new job and my final university project, but now it is time to pause. Christmas is family time.
I am coming home.