A little over a week ago, I submitted my Bachelor’s thesis. My very last IBCoM assignment, not just for the year, but forever. No more classes, no more papers and no more exams (for IBCoM at least); it’s the moment I’ve been dreaming about since I set foot in my first IHC lecture. Weirdly enough, I didn’t feel as excited and free as I thought I would. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of waiting for that precious email stating that I’ve officially passed my thesis. Or maybe I was just having the Summer Blues.
It happens a lot during this time of the year. You’ve been working your ass off for months in a row, had a purpose for each day of the week. Even free days or evenings were scheduled in and spent catching up with friends and family, recharging for another busy week ahead. Although it can be challenging, I personally love these busy times: they keep you alert and provide a sense of accomplishment when everything is done. They also make your sparse free time a lot more rewarding. But when the long-awaited summer comes, and things finally do calm down, the sudden plentitude of time and freedom can come as quite a shock. What do you do with all that free time?
For me, my first days of freedom consisted of multiple celebratory dinners and drinks (more on that in our last IBCoMagazine issue that comes out next week!), some long overdue catching-up sessions in the sun, and, of course, some Netflix marathons. But after a week or so, when I made it through the final season of Gilmore Girls, the workhorse in me decided it had been enough. It was time to apply for summer jobs, schedule driving lessons, give my room a summer cleaning and find a place to live during my master. Time to do all the things I didn’t get to during the academic year. And suddenly I was back to where I started, with loads to do and not quite enough time to catch my breath and really enjoy the summer.
When classes are over and you finally get to do all the fun and not-so-fun things you’ve been pushing ahead for months, it’s tempting to take up everything at once, to fill your agenda without taking a much needed and well-earned break. It’s not that surprising, either. After trying to be productive and make the most out of your days for the majority of the year, it’s weird to not have to do anything. Especially in this day and age, when Facebook asks you to share what you are doing every hour of every day, and you get to see all the awesome stuff everyone else is accomplishing in the time you’ve been sleeping in and watching Finding Dory for the third time. But hey! Finding Dory is awesome, and we all need some down time from time to time. Besides, if there’s anything I learned in my positive psychology minor, it’s that being happy and well-rested are two key ingredients of productivity, inspiration, and creativity. Keep that one in mind for when your parents start to wonder if all those hours of watching Netflix will ever pay off somehow, too. 😉
So yesterday, instead of looking for apartments, applying for jobs or doing any of the other productive stuff I planned, I took my bike and made my way to Kralingse Plas to take a walk, watch the swans (from a safe distance) and read a book. It may be due to the tropical weather or the sound of gentle waves rolling up against the rocks, but for the first time, I felt like the summer had started. It took some adjusting, but I’m finally there. Hello there, summer. Welcome back.