Here’s how to treat yourself out of week 5 blues
We all deserve occasional treats.
It’s week five, and you’re beginning to feel tired, stressed and desolate. The time has come to Treat. Yo. Self. ‘But how?’ I hear you cry, and fret ye not, for I am here and I have become an expert in treating myself, and I am ready to bestow my wisdom upon you.
By far the best treat when Cambridge is getting you down is to… leave Cambridge. Radical, I know, but leaving ‘the bubble’ for an afternoon really helps clear your head and put things in perspective. You don’t have to go far, you could just take some friends and walk to Grantchester if you want a budget option. You want to go further? Great – there are buses to places in Cambridgeshire like St Ives (Britain’s most ideal place to live in 2014 so worth a visit). If you’re feeling especially dramatic you could hop on a train and stare meaningfully out the window, listening to sad music as you cross the flat countryside (this is, in my opinion, the only way to spend time on a train). Head to London, Peterborough, Norwich, or Bury St Edmunds for a day out and feel stress leave you. You have no choice but to enjoy yourself.
If leaving Cambridge does not tickle your fancy then perhaps it is time to escape the weekly student cycle of leaving all your work far too late, panic writing and getting no sleep and handing it in about ten seconds before the deadline. Forget this raison d’être and spend a day as if you were a tourist in Cambridge. Visit a museum/ gallery, maybe Kettle’s Yard, look around a college you have not yet visited, a park or other green space and spend some time communing with nature. Otherwise, go to the cinema, or go and see some student theatre – it may be obliquely pretentious but at least getting annoyed at theatrical elitism will get your mind off the drudgery of winter.
Maybe you have read this article to this point and you are going ‘Caitlin, it is all very well being cultural and all that nonsense but I do not want to commune with a squirrel or visit a museum. I want to spend some of my student loan the way certain right wing news publications say I am spending my student loan. I want frivolity, I want fun’. If you are having those thoughts then firstly, congrats to me on my newfound psychic powers but secondly do not worry, calm yourself because we are about to have an entire two paragraphs on how to fritter away some cash. Method one is food – I 100% recommend eating your feelings within reason. Maybe hall food is starting to wear you down – if so, a meal out may be the best way to treat yourself. Look around, is a friend staring murderously at the potatoes in hall? If so, grab them and take them to a restaurant. If you’re looking for a fairly classy meal, then Las Iguanas is an excellent choice, and their creamy caramel cake would definitely feature in my last meal. Fitzbillies is always good too, especially if you fancy afternoon tea. If a restaurant feels like it’ll blow your budget then treat yourself to a couple of things from M&S, like some extra nice looking soup, or some of their cakes.
Method two is to buy yourself things that you don’t need per se, but which it would be useful and fun to have. Are your socks getting thin? Treat yourself to some fun new ones. You only own one highlighter? A travesty, go to WH Smith immediately and buy some more. There’s a fiction book that you want to read but are worried about not having the time? Buy it, and actually read it, if the only reading you do is for your degree you will forget why you loved reading so much in the first place. These are just a few examples but the point is to buy small and slightly frivolous things, which won’t shoot you into your overdraft, but will bring you just a little bit of much needed cheer.
So, my dear reader, as you can see there is an absolute wealth of things you can do to escape the ‘Week Five Blues’. It’s important to remember, when treating oneself, that there is a fine line between spending money on yourself to pick yourself up and irresponsible overspending, which will ultimately lead to regret and more stress. So have some fun, get yourself some treats, but be careful too.