Summer holiday made me stoopid

Cambridge vacations make you really stupid like, argues JOE GOODMAN

Cindies DoS goodbye Library May Week mental health shaman south america spiritual awakening stoopid sugar daddy summer holiday swaps

We get long holidays here, did you know? Christmas and Easter are about a month, but the summer is three. Three glorious months of sleeping and sunbathing, after two months of punching yourself in the spleen to stay awake.

It’s nice I guess. You can go travelling, or get a day-job, or find any one of these schemes that will ship you off to the ends of the earth under the proviso that you act really English and tell people you’re from Cambridge all the time.

This year, I went to Peru because I never had a gap-yah and I wanted something new to hang on my wall. To tell the truth it was great. I met a Shaman called Miguel and he told me I was a snake in a past life. But that’s another story.

Having a spiritual a-wee-kening

Three months in South America may have nurtured my soul; but in some sort of fucked up inverse correlation, my brain has completely shrunk to make space.

People talk about getting stupid over the holidays, but it’s only now that it has started to feel real. I can’t read a page without having to immediately reread it. I can’t listen to a lecturer for more than half an hour without realising I was never listening at all.

And to contrast that with the place I was at the end of last term. It’s funny to think of the all-night power shifts I was pulling when exam panic hit. Worlds away from where I am now.

That’s the thing, it’s a weird trade-off: get really really stressed out and then really really calm, until you’ve forgotten all the bad bits and trick yourself into thinking you really really like it here.

I realised the other day that my memory of last year is quite literally just a best-bits package of Cindies, swaps and May-week with the weeks of library torture and DOS meetings conveniently edited out.

Oh the memories

But in the words of Miguel, ‘It doesn’t have to be like this, Jose’. And it doesn’t. Why do we have to have stupidly intense terms just for stupidly long holidays?

There’s something to be said for arguing that it’s worth it just for the release of getting it over. Or that one day, looking back, you might almost feel proud. But really, you wouldn’t put yourself through that sort of pressure in any other situation.

And as for tradition, well that top-hatted sugar daddy can eat my flatulence. Their Michaelmas could still be their Michaelmas if they gave us one more week of term, their Lent could still be their Lent. For fuck’s sake I’ll even let them keep their Easter.

Of course, the only real reason terms are so short is so college can make a killing out of renting your room for corporate functions.

According to the college website, my room from first year goes for £70 a night out of term. Put that next to the £10 I was paying and you might start to get an idea of why they like to get rid of us ASAP.

Young adults being delicate

I mean I’m sure they do a lot of good with that money. But when mental health issues are becoming so prevalent across the University, it makes you wonder if prioritising corporate moneymaking opportunities is really the responsible decision.

I think it’s enough now. There’s a reason other universities have longer terms and it’s not because they’re lower down the league table.

Young adults are delicate creatures. Our minds are amazing but they need looking after. They’ll rust if you leave them alone for too long, but overwork them and they’ll just snap.

So stop this rollercoaster. I’ve gotten so befuddled over the summer vac I can hardly get a book out the library, never mind read it.

I’ve sat down to write this article and reading it now it looks like the work of a toddler. There’s a bit of vitriol and a lot of confusion and I can’t remember how to finish one of these. ‘Goodbye!?’