Summertime sadness

I’ve got that summertime, summertime sadness…

Ah, it’s that time of year again. Last week, the struggle was real. I couldn’t find a place to study because every building was packed tighter than a can of sardines. But this week, I see the crowds thinning and the bars filling. Soon the libraries will echo with an eerie silence and dust will roll by like tumbleweeds. Then, slowly, the buzzing bars will quieten to a mere murmur as the students pack up and leave two by two like on Noah’s ark. A desolate Groningen left behind. 

I’m coming down with a bad case of the summer scaries. Going home means returning to my other life, trying to fit into my other wardrobe, even getting back my other accent; essentially, stepping back into my other self. And, just to add a little more salt to the wound, going home to the southern hemisphere means diving headfirst into the winter blues. So, while you all bask in summer’s golden glow, I’ll be shivering under layers of blankets. 

The hustle and bustle of student life will be put on pause. My life here, with all my friends, will be on hold. So, what am I supposed to do now? Head back to my teenage bedroom? Blend into the background of my family that’s got their routine down to a science, one that doesn’t include me?

Coming back to Groningen and not reuniting with old friends can serve as a trial run for the big bad world

My friends and I are jetting off to all corners of the globe soon. And then after the summer, they will all be scattered on their respective exchange programs, while I’ll be back here, feeling a tad lonesome and blue. 

Maybe coming back to Groningen and not reuniting with old friends is a sneaky stroke of luck. I think it can serve as a trial run for the big bad world outside of my safe university bubble that will inevitably end someday. It might just be the push I need to once again venture a bit off the beaten track. 

I’ll miss the spontaneous nights out, the impromptu study sessions, and the feeling that everything is just a bike ride away. But that is just the catch-22 of an international student. When we are home, we miss being abroad and when we are abroad, we of course miss home. 

So maybe the paracetamol to my summer scaries is simply soaking up (albeit frosty winter) sun back home, enjoying the very things ,and people, I’ve been missing all year. 

Catch you on the flip side!

CARLA ERASMUS

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