A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Summer’s here! I have handed in my Linguistics bachelor’s thesis and finished all of my courses for the semester. Normally by this time, I would have planned some kind of trip, either to a European city outside of the Netherlands or to visit my family in America or Thailand. However because of the pandemic, I am not able to travel anywhere this summer. A lot of my friends are actually on holiday abroad at the moment, and I admittedly feel a little bit of FOMO. Theoretically, it is possible to travel within Europe if I get a negative test beforehand, but I just don’t want to take the risk. As I have only received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine, I really don’t want to risk getting Covid and spreading it to others. Also as someone with moderate asthma, I know that if I catch Covid my body could be badly affected by the virus. Thus begins my adventure of spending the summer at home. Just because I’m not going abroad, doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for my break!
My first few weeks after handing in my thesis, I really struggled to relax. I felt that I always had to ‘be productive’ even though I was technically on break. I find that taking a trip somewhere really forces you to leave your responsibilities and work behind you. But since this was not possible for me, I had to adjust a lot to taking it slow at home. My home had become a not so relaxing place over the span of the past academic year and I had to learn how to make it peaceful again. I bought some things that would make my home feel more alive such as: plants, art, and organizers! I find that decorating your space with new things allows you to become excited with your space. Similarly, it is also nice to declutter and get rid of stuff that you don’t need anymore to give your home a fresh start.
In order to calm down, I often had to force myself to do things that were relaxing and fun. I watched a lot of movies and TV shows, read books, started a new exercise routine. I also cycled to the beach with my boyfriend which was really fun! The sights on the way to the beach were beautiful and we rewarded ourselves with drinks at the beach.
I have also planned to do a few other things this summer! I enrolled in an intensive Dutch course at the Academic Language Centre in August to improve my language skills. Although the course will be online, I still think it’s good for me to keep my Dutch learning going. I also signed up to be a guide for this year’s Orientation Week Leiden (OWL), as I have always wanted to be a guide but just didn’t have the time before. I think it will be a great way to meet new people and it would be nice to show students around the beautiful city of Leiden. Finally, I have started playing Dungeons and Dragons with a small group of friends. It is so nice to learn a new game and to play with friends!
If you don’t have any ideas for what to do this summer, I have a few suggestions to get some ideas flowing:
So that’s what I have planned this summer. If you aren’t going on a trip this summer, don’t worry! You are not alone! Staying at home and being safe can also be a fun and relaxing time! And when you finally do get to go on a trip, it will be worth the wait 🙂