The Leidener

A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

What’s It Like To Be A Third Year? – Second Semester

This is a follow up to the post: What’s It Like To Be A Third Year? – First Semester

I’ve had a very different outlook as I came back from Turkey for the second semester which was also (hopefully!) my last semester of university.

It was the realization that this was my last semester. Last couple of months before everyone goes their own ways, which happens to be all around the world. When you go back to your hometown where you went to high school, it’s easy to meet up with your old friends as that is the hometown of all. Especially around the holidays, everyone comes back and you have these annual get-togethers with old friends.

When you go to a university abroad however, the story is a little different. People come from all corners of the world and will go to all corners of the world once they graduate. When you come back to this town where you spent some of your best years, it will not be the same. The city might be, but the streets are likely to feel a little emptier. When you go to your favorite pub or that café you always used to go to with that one friend, you might find yourself surrounded by a feeling of nostalgia as you look at the chairs filled with unfamiliar faces.

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Now, enough with the emotional part!

What I’m getting at is this… Since I now have a few months left where I will be surrounded by all these awesome people in a wonderful environment, I have decided to soak it all up! I do have a lot on my plate this semester but I will nevertheless be forcing myself to go out more often, hang out with people more often and be open to new possibilities in general. (Does this sound too much like your horoscope or resolutions for a new year?)

And so I have been spending more one-on-one time with people that I’m not ready to say goodbye to yet, over coffee or wine and such. I want these days to be the ones I look back at, as new beginnings are approaching (whatever they might be!). This semester is my semester of saying goodbye, to the people, to the city, to everything I have experienced and been through over the course of the last couple of years. It is a semester of indulgence in joy and experience, love and friendship.

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So overall what I’m saying is, don’t let yourself get the blues about this chapter coming to an end but instead make sure that the ending is a good one! You know that bucket list of yours which has been expanding over the years? Of things to do and places to see and cafes to go to, oh and that one restaurant you must try? Well, you better start checking them off your list!

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