A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
One of my favourite moments is when I’m on the plane and it’s just about to land. That moment when the whole world looks tiny. You feel as if you could hold the cars in your hand and everything looks like toys. I always find it interesting how ordered the world looks and think that perhaps if everyone took the time once in a while to take this birds-eye view, perhaps the world wouldn’t appear to us as being quite so chaotic.
Currently, I feel that I am stuck in the middle of the marshy swamp that is thesis; it seems as if I am wading through ideas and nothing seems clear. My head feels full of different responses, claims and interpretations; at the moment I really wish that I could find the ‘answer’ – sadly, being a Philosophy student, this is extremely unlikely!
This is why I was so especially glad when a friend came on an impromptu visit, I needed a break from my own mind, and a good chance to spend time a bit of much-needed ‘friend-time’.
On one day, we decided to visit Utrecht – a beautiful city about a 40 min journey from Leiden by train. Since it seemed that it dominated the skyline, we decided to climb the Dom Tower, the tallest tower in the Netherlands, featuring over 400 steps.
Climbing the tower was a bit of a challenge for me as I struggle with enclosed, spiral staircases, but I managed to keep my stamina and be brave to complete the challenge.
In a similar way from the plane view, the view from the top was amazing just because the world looked so small. I felt like I was on top of the world looking down on all the people milling about their business. It was also so still and calm up there, I felt so insignificant watching this big world down below me, but also the interesting way in which all our lives combine to create this working world. (Apologies for lots of philosophical thoughts up this tower!)
So it helped me to gain a new perspective- the fact that there is so much that I can achieve if I put my mind to it, the luck that I have in living in such a beautiful country, the important strength that friendship can offer and most importantly that an ice cream is well-deserved after such a long climb!
I hope the motivation that this time-off, and change in altitude gave me can also give the motivation to get this thesis going – I’ll keep you posted Leideners!