A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When I was younger I used to optimistically make resolutions for the New Year, buoyed with youthful confidence that I could easily keep them. This charade continued for a few years despite consistently breaking them only a week later. However, this year I am once again optimistic enough to return to the act of resolving. The key is to make them manageable. The number of times I have resolved never to eat chocolate again only to almost choke attempting to swallow vast amounts of it in a bird-like fashion twenty four hours later is innumerable. Did I really believe that I would forever forgo chocolate? I can’t even remember now, but this time I sincerely intend to keep to my resolutions!
1) Take up Dutch
Having lived in Holland for sixteen months I have finally begun to pick up some Dutch. More specifically I have begun to understand the vowel sounds which thus far I have found the biggest hurdle in my attempts to master the Dutch language. I won’t go in to detail about the difficulties but I can assure you that it is indeed difficult (despite all my Dutch friends saying Dutch is similar to English –erm nooooo it’s not-). This resolution will be kept as I have already paid and enrolled for a course at the university starting in January.
2) Start exercising
After the feasting of the Christmas season I am feeling somewhat rotund and lethargic and exercise is certainly in order to work off those unsightly pounds. This year I have finally decided to join the university sports centre and with a wide variety of classes available I’m sure I’ll find something I can at least pretend to enjoy- ballet perhaps?
3) Travel more
Since being in Holland I have been to Morocco, Italy and Belgium, but this isn’t really the travel I mean, I want to get to know Holland now. It can be easy with so many European countries at your doorstep to forget to explore the country you live in, but that is exactly what I intend to do. Having only really seen the cities in the Randstad I want to go to Zwolle, Maastricht and other places along the German border.
4) Socialise more
When you have lived in a town for some time it is easy to become complacent and comfortable with the lovely group of friends you have made already. However, university offers so many opportunities to meet new people and take up new hobbies that it would be a sad waste not to.
5) Finish my thesis!