Excellent! Exams are over! Term had ended! Results are in.
Summer Holidays. I am cherishing the fact that I still have a ‘summer holiday’ as I am painfully aware that as soon as I enter the working world, my summer holidays will be vacuumed up and repackaged as about three weeks per working year. Compare that figure to the three months of university holiday, five months if you count Christmas and Easter. However enticing three months summer holiday seems, I have a confession to make. I hate the summer holidays. Unless I have concrete plans (which I don’t), the holidays has always been a sea of boredom that I have to weather in order to reach my next year of learning.
That isn’t to say I don’t love holidays. Heavens no. I love holidays. I love giving my brain a bit of a break before it has to tackle the next piece of coursework. But, excessively long holidays? Nope, not a fan. As a kid, I used to set myself projects to do over the summer months to present to my new teacher on the first day of school in September! One summer, I hadn’t finished the summer term project, so I took it home, continued to research and create and I handed in a laminated, ringbound ‘pamphlet’ on how fashion changed from 1953 to present day. Received 10 house points before term had even started.
I loved school because it kept me occupied. My biggest fear, and my biggest enemy, is boredom. I’m not joking, I currently have the boredom threshold of a six year old. Boredom causes me to stagnate. Causes me to lose motivation and to just sit, listless, until something comes along to capture my attention and then I’m off! Even during term time, I always seem to find myself with lots of different activates on my plate. Last summer, I was organising the performances of the dance society, I was the costume designer for the GMTG musical ‘Our House’, and revising and taking nine exams to finish second year. I was happily declaring that I wouldn’t give myself that much to do in one time period again. To which my housemate snorted and reminded me of our last year of sixth form where I was the costume designer for the interhouse drama, as well as applying for university and organising and running the school charity day. Apparently, I had sworn something similar then as well.
Truth is, I like being busy. I like having lots to do. I have never known why, but I do know that I do my best work when under pressure. That is the reason I do better on exams than in essay based coursework – in coursework I am excellent at talking myself out of the right answer. So I am highly effective under pressure. Summer holidays lack pressure. They are just three months of working days cleaning, and evenings at the pub, with a bit of drawing and watching Arrow and the Mentalist in the hours between. I made my boss laugh at me during the England – Wales game, rushing around the pub like a mad thing. I’m frantically trying to collect and wash glasses so they can keep serving the clamouring hoards of football fans, and he just stops, laughs and says ‘you’re enjoying yourself!’.
I do enjoy having a lot to do. I thrive off such situations where I have to prioritise and there are deadlines and expectations. I stagnate when I have eons of time. So, in the example of coursework, I drive my course/housemate crazy, because I will have known about a piece of coursework for months, will have been researching and reading articles just as long, but I won’t actually write the essay until about a week before the deadline. She doesn’t understand how I can work better that way.
So, I am nearly three weeks into the last extended summer holiday of university, I have received my results, and I have a confirmed offer for Masters next year. I do not have summer holiday plans because I need to work in order to earn the money to finish my Masters.
I am bored.
I have already read half of my summer reading stack, packed to move, and worn my faithful 3B down to a two inch stub of a pencil. My creativity is stalling. I love going to work because it gives me a sense of purpose. Next week, I am moving house. Which should be fun.
Fundamentally, no matter how much I am reading, and drawing, I miss university. I miss learning. As I have done every summer since I first entered school. I am grateful for the three month holiday, however, I would prefer to have a reading list for next year, so I can get a head start on what I need to know for my Masters! Or a holiday to South America. That would be pretty awesome. Alas. Money prevents my travel dreams from becoming a reality!
So, I will keep drawing, I will devour books like they are going to become extinct, probably keep eating chocolate, enjoy working and try working out what I will need to know for my Masters next year!!
Hope everyone enjoys their summers! I am sure I will miss the long summers when I start work, but for now, I shall continue to find them slightly boring.