The darkest times have become a reflection and a memory

Although it’s something I’m used to, last week I started doing something I haven’t done for months. After a Summer featuring an uncommon amount of free time, I sat down at my desk and began to study. I’m sure this is a common story among students here in Groningen and the university community at large; but for me this time is different.

For one, I’m about a semester or so away from (hopefully) completing my masters. So, the classes I’m taking now have a distinctly different feel to them. I’m reaching the end of my time studying in universities, at least for a while and I am about to open a new chapter in life. This puts me at odds with a lot of students who are just starting a full academic year as mine comes to a close.

As others look forward and make beginnings, I find myself more reflective. Times like these I would often spend with friends, but my social circle here is so much smaller than what I’m accustomed to. I’m so grateful for the small number of people I’ve physically spent time with over the last year with and I cherish it all… but I can’t help wondering about the things I missed out on thanks to Covid-19. 

I’m so grateful for the small number of people I’ve physically spent time with

Personally, I’m delighted to see the city and the university slowly returning to normal. While I may have missed out on a ‘normal’ time here my own has been special in its own way and I’ve certainly learned a lot, about psychology as a discipline and about myself as a person. There’s a value in that I cannot measure.

Now, it seems that my last semester as a student here will be more like the first one two years ago and this is so welcome. While complete normality hasn’t arrived just yet, being able to stand inside a bar and enjoy the atmosphere until midnight and talk to someone new is a welcome relief from the hardships of the last year.

So, now as I sit down to study again after a year of hard work I’m happy. At least, I’m happier than I was. I’m happier to find that when I leave the library or stand up from my desk I can enjoy the things I missed. The darkest times have become a reflection and a memory.

That which I have longed for is returning.

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