I’ve never been as bored as I am right now
Get me back to Cambridge ASAP
So Exam Term was close to its sweet, merry termination. You'd just survived your 43rd mini-breakdown, managed to appease your DOS by exaggerating (or merely lying) about how you're finally going to start taking your studies seriously next year, and had managed to not only avoid getting with a regretful one night stand at a May Ball, but also avoided being papped by the Daily Mail on your I-think-I-still-look-glamorous-but-actually-look-like-death traipse back from it.
Up ahead, nearly three and a half months’ holiday awaited. You couldn’t wait to treat yoself for all your hard work. It was going to be complete and utter bliss…
Except it really wasn’t, was it?
Just like the ‘sorry-the-old-Taylor-can’t-come-to-the-phone-right-now-cos-she’s-dead’ phase (separate article incoming soon because wtf is going on T Swiz…), the expectation didn’t quite live up to the hype. Honestly speaking, trying to fill the ‘Blank Space’ of holiday time was a lot harder than I’d envisioned.
I don’t know whether it’s an indictment against millennials and their inability to self-entertain, but in the 101 days between your last May Ball and your first day back there’s only so many finding-myself-teaching-in-a-South-East-Asian-school holidays you can go on; only so many internships you can boast about on your Linkedin (you know who you are…); only so many Tab articles you can write (actually there aren't – the possibilities are endless.)
More often than not, things get in the way of your plans, whether that be that you have £5.47 to your name (true story), or you live hundreds of miles away from your friends. In reality, you spend most of your time sitting alone in your room scrolling through Instagram as people in exactly the same situation as you try to pretend that their life is actually more interesting. Either that, or you eventually run out of all possible conversation topics with your parents, to the point at which your sweetly-intentioned but, at the same time, deeply irritating mother asks the thinly-veiled "that girl in that Facebook photo you uploaded is very pretty, what’s her name?" question.
In some ways, we’re overstimulated at Cambridge. I never have to make entertainment for myself: there’s always some talk, some play, or some person to go and see. While at university, I take it for granted that I’m never more than a ten-minute walk away from any of my friends. "Meet me at the Maypole in 10 minutes" is a lot catchier than "take a bus to your local train station, travel 45 minutes to Waterloo, get the Tube to Paddington and then get a two-and-a-half-hour train to my house…" And those 20 ‘friends’ you said you’d stay in touch with from school in reality amount to 3.
The difference between the always-on approach at Cambridge and the slow pace of suburban home life takes a while to adapt to. However, having nothing to do has, in fact, been really beneficial this holiday. Without sounding like some free mindfulness app you’d download on your phone, it’s given me time to just do nothing. I love Cambridge so much, but one of the criticisms I have about it is everything is so fast-paced, and everyone is so full-on all the time, that’s it’s difficult to take time out to think about yourself. I finished my first year happy, but also a mess; confused about so many aspects of my life; confused about the type of person I wanted to be.
But this holiday has given me the time and space I need to work most of it out. In today’s society, there’s some rabid obsession with always needing to do something, or, more specifically, always needing to show others that you’re staying busy. Sometimes, it’s good just to stop and do absolutely nothing. To sit and just be. And that’s what the boredom of this holiday has allowed me to do.
But also get me to Cindies ASAP.