The 5 Stages of University Summer Holidays:

The 5 Stages of University Summer Holidays:

  • The ‘Excitement’ Phase

You’ve currently stepped out the doors of the examination room, yet to explore the freedom of an elongated break from the stress and trauma of your university studies. You take a deep breath of the fresh air as you begin to make your way to your mode of transport home. You begin to ponder the wonderful and exciting scholarly and recreational activities you will undertake throughout the break. You’re excited, and finally free.

  • The ‘Planning’ Phase

The planning phase begins shortly after the final mental notes stored deep in your brain for the exam have disembarked your mind. Some make a list; some fill their smartphone calendar. Others make mental notes or begin discussing ideas with friends. This is all done in good intentions, of course. You plan to make the most of this university holidays, not let it slowly fade away as you realize you’ve watched every single show you have the slightest bit of interest in on Netflix, and you haven’t even sent a bare e-mail to begin embarking on any scholarly journey.

  • The ‘Let’s do this!’ Phase

Your list is prepared. You’ve discussed all your ideas with everyone you know, just to make sure they know that you’re a committed and diligent student and you don’t simply waste your free time. You sit at your computer ready to begin executing all your plans, you open the web browser, Facebook comes up, a glowing red number catches your eye. You ignore it; it’s time to begin working as hard as you planned. The work begins.

  • The ‘Oh no, I’ve done nothing’ Phase

So, it turns out that the glowing red number that appeared in the corner of your eye got the better of you, and the last 10 weeks have slipped away from you somehow. You blame it on the Christmas holidays, family visiting, too many birthdays, too many events, too much everything. You begin to think, ‘Oh, damn, this won’t end well’. You start to ponder how bad you really want everything you planned to embark upon. You begin the prioritizing of your list and dramatically reduce the amount of tasks to complete. ‘This will work’, you think. You begin sending emails to every intellectual opportunity that faces you, frantically message your friends about what they’ve gotten up too, hoping they’ve taken the same step in the wrong direction as you.

  • The ‘Realisation/Acceptance’ Phase

You’ve sent a few e-mails; you find most your friends have found themselves in the same situation. It’s ok. You’ll be fine. Acceptance is the first step to moving forward, ‘this semester will be better’ you tell yourself. You then open Netflix and continue to watch an utterly repulsive series which appeared in your ‘Recommended for you’ section. You will do better; you just need some pressure from your tutors and lecturers. ‘Next holidays will be different’, you mumble semi-enthusiastically.

I know these phases don’t apply to everyone, but I sure do know I have found myself in this situation once, or maybe even twice before. Hopefully it went a different way for you, good luck to everyone this semester!

Make 2016 yours; it’s there for the taking.

Luke Duff


(Photo: Rottnes Island, Courtesy of Jenny Ljunggren)

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