April 17, 2014, by Guest blog

I really should be making the most of this year

This blog is not about “making connections” in the sense of meeting people or networking, instead I have decided to write about a few things I have discovered about myself during my time abroad as I have seen some important connections between my lifestyle and my mood and general state of mind.

Firstly, having worked full-time for the first six months of my year abroad, it is a big shock to be studying again. I feel so lazy! I really did not enjoy working but I did enjoy the healthy routine it got my body into. I am very much a night owl but I had to restrict this when I knew I had to get up to start work at 9am every day. Now, however, I feel I can go to bed whenever I want and get up whenever I want… which I really have been doing. I have got into the habit of not going to bed before 3 or 4 in the morning and not getting up until 1 or 2 in the afternoon (and, even then, I REALLY have to force myself to get up as I start to feel guilty for being such a lazy waste of space) and this means that I am constantly lethargic and unmotivated to do anything. It also means that when I do succeed in getting up for a 9am lecture, I feel (and look) like death and am an extremely unpleasant human being to be around!

I not only feel guilty for having got into a bad sleeping habit, I also feel lazy as I feel I should have a job and stop living off my student loan and grant. I recently turned 21 and I feel ashamed not to be earning my own money at this age. I know how hard my parents and my brother work and the reality is that I am probably getting paid as much money to sit in a lecture hall for a couple of hours and listen to someone talk at me. Having discovered this now does make me a little concerned for final year. However, it has motivated me to try to find another job in France for the summer – more to relieve me of this guilt than for the money!

Another connection I have made is that, when learning a language, you really do get out as much as you put in. For the first three weeks here, I did a Spanish course which consisted of a two-hour class every day. It was great revision and I really enjoyed the classes. I also noticed an improvement in my language skills and I always came away from the lesson wanting to speak in Spanish. Since then, however, I have barely spoken any Spanish and I certainly haven’t opened my grammar book. I know that I only have myself to blame if I don’t make any improvement in Spanish while I am here and I know that this is probably the only opportunity I will ever get to come to study in a foreign university and I really should make the most of it.

Having made these connections between my lazy lifestyle and attitude and my mood and motivation, I really do feel like I need to make a change. I don’t think I will ever be able to get up early, but I do feel I should try to regiment my body clock and work harder during the day so that I feel less sluggish and guilty.​

Posted in Making connections