Let’s be honest about what we really did during our university break, says Georgia Mueck.
“I’m going to get a job!” I announced to anyone who asked me about my plans for my uni holidays. Six weeks seemed like plenty of time to put on my Job-finding suit, wiggle into my Job Cannon, and shoot myself off into Jobland, where Jobs grow on Jobtrees and no-one is unemployed.
And yet here I am, at the end of the break, with no job and even less money.
I’ll be honest, I can’t quite recall what exactly I did with all that time. It just seemed to slip away from me when I was distracted. I definitely did have plans though, lots of them. If you recall Michaela Wagland’s article about all the post-exam/holiday possibilities that were on offer around Newcastle, there were plenty of things to do, goals to achieve, or plans to make during our time off. From seeing bands at Bar on the Hill, checking out local markets, or, if you’re like me, just trying to get your life slightly more in order, everyone begins the break with a sense of optimistic purpose.
How many of us actually fulfil those plans is the real question. Am I the only one who just seems to forget to get stuff done, or is it a more widespread phenomenon?
I asked some University of Newcastle students how their holiday period goals and plans compared to what they actually ended up doing.
What did you plan to do during your university break?
Hannah, who’s doing Open Foundation said; “Read five books, cook healthy dinners and eat before 8pm, not sleep all day”.
What did she actually end up doing?
“Read five pages of one book, watched three seasons of Bob’s Burgers, got the flu, ate veggie dogs at midnight and slept till 12pm.”
So what happened?
“…I was super sick and confined to my bed for most of the time. But I’m also very lazy…”
Christy, a Law/Business student planned to; “Read a book, catch up on household chores, go away, relax, catch up with friends, start readings for semester two, do a heap of policy work for the women’s collective, and go to NOWSA”.
What they actually did?
“Pokemon Go, Woco work and NOWSA, Netflix, sleep in lots, [and] work.”
Chris, who’s doing a Communication degree, wanted to; “Work enough to have a sustainable amount of money to go on holidays, write intense articles that would blow the minds of thousands of people, sit back and relax, forget that I have already enrolled into semester two”.
What he ended up doing, though?
“Struggled to save any money as most of it was spent on unnecessary items, slept all day almost everyday, scrolled through Netflix for about 60 per cent of the holiday, and got writers block for eight weeks.“
“I am a university student who cannot for the life of me designate time properly. All my money is spent on useless items and forget that priorities exist.”
It would seem that there is definitely a trend of shirking responsibilities and ditching plans, at least some of them, during the break. However that was not the case for everyone.
Jemima, a Psychology student, planned to go on a two week road trip to Queensland. She did that and then some: “[I] went on a two week trip and decided not to leave/live here!”
Then there are those like Carly, who is doing a PhD in Psychology, who don’t even get a break. Or as she puts it; #PhDlife.
If you’re wondering why no one answered with “I’ve been playing Pokémon Go since it came out and I haven’t seen my family in a week”, that is probably because they don’t have time to answer questions for blog articles when there are Bulbasaurs and Squirtles waiting to be caught near the Hunter building. Rest assured though, any Pokemon fan who began their uni break with ideas about rest and relaxation were sorely mistaken, and will probably sorely need a massage for their aching legs by now!
So for those of you who find yourselves panicking as semester two comes ever closer, do not despair! The break is, after all, a break, and most of us are in the same boat. The same Netflix-filled, procrastination-laden, momentarily peaceful boat.
And if your lack of productivity is really getting you down, well, next semester is just around the corner!
Semester two commences on the 25th of July.
If you are suffering from stress or anxiety, please contact the UoN Counselling service via email email@example.com or phone:
Callaghan 02 4921 5801
Ourimbah 02 4348 4060
Sydney 02 8262 6400
Port Macquarie 02 6581 6200
Feature Image: by Richard O’Regan.