The importance of leisure time

The importance of leisure time

29 November 2015 by Joyce Pepe
Share this page:

Weeks are passing by so fast, I don’t really know whether it’s positive or not but all I know is that Christmas is getting closer and closer. Last weekend I finally saw Sinterklaas for the first time in my life and after I have been celebrating him without ever seeing him in person for 19 years. I hope that some of you went to his arrival in Groningen, it was great, although, surprisingly enough, it was raining. I loved it, the fact that they organize all of this, the arrival, the songs, the candy, I believe make it so much more real for children than Santa’s arrival on his sleigh.

These days I was thinking about my mentor’s words during the first meeting we had. For those who do not know what a mentor is, it’s a person, professor or student, who advices you in your first study year. We talked about leisure time, about its importance during your study. Many times in the past years I have found myself on the verge of a breakdown, either after exams or during the last weeks of school which for me were the toughest. I always tried to find a way out of these difficult moments but I couldn’t always find it and that’s when my parents would come in action. I remember last summer when I was preparing for my high school final exams when my super mum came in and closed all my books, I remember looking at her in panic and telling her how I needed to finish those pages before I could go out. She told me to not argue with her, took my phone and told me we were going out, to have dinner at the lake and that I wasn’t allowed to take any books with me, not even ‘non-school’ books! It was only after I came home that I realized how much I had needed to take a few hours off and couldn’t thank my mum enough.

I realized during my first days here that now it was up to me to go out and free myself from school related thoughts for a couple of hours. My parents, nor my friends would be there to shake all the thoughts off me, it was me vs. me. That is when I got a gym membership and promised myself to have some more me-time. For someone who has always been surrounded by people and by fun stuff to do, I can tell you, it’s hard to be all alone. At this moment I have engaged myself in the task and have been going to the gym at least 3 times a week, not for much, usually 40 minutes, but it has changed my daily routine and I feel more positive and less stressed out. Now, I am not forcing you to go to the gym 5 times a week, but my advice for you is to find something which pleases you and to do that. It could be anything, reading, going for a walk, taking pictures, but that time you put into those activities will be very well spent.

Hopefully for me these trips to the gym will result also in me being in better shape, not just in being distracted from school for 40 minutes.