Exam Stress

Chistmas is right around the corner and the exam stress is boiling up. Our average coffee consumption has doubled as well as our procrastination skills. The usually empty study halls are now full of frustrated students, burned out computers and an overflow of unnecessary printet sheets (both professor’s notes and old exam papers).

Dark rings around eyes have become a normal sight. Conversations can be heard accross campus of people reconsidering their choice of study. Really? Is this how bad we handle stress?

The woman behind the cashier gives me a sympathetic smile before handing me the croissant I just bought.

“Been up studying all night?”, she asks. I wish I could say yes but I was busy avoiding my books and watching a Keeping up with the Kardashians marathon. I guess that’snot a better way of handling the exam stress either. But, hey, – I’m probably not the only one. And knowimg that makes it all a little easier.

So to all students out there thinking they’re alone about feeling restless or only knowing half their syllabus; you’re not the only one. So keep up with that caffeine intake and late night studying while knowing we’re millions in this with you.

Living in the Moment

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(written 7th of July)

I’m the type to always look forward. Always waiting for what’s next. In the beginning of the semester I’m looking forward towards the exam period, – during the exam period I look forward towards summer and during summer I look forward towards going back to a structured daily life. Even during dinner parties I look forward to going home and to bed. It’s a never-ending cycle. I never manage to just enjoy the moment.

Today things took a little different turn. Lying on a swim tube, floating in the Indian ocean with the salt water getting absorbed into my skin, something changed. Maybe it was the humid air and the light breeze that finally got me relaxed, – or maybe someone had spiked my coconut drink. Either way, I finally managed to turn my overworked brain off.

The sight wasn’t really ideal. The heavy rain and grey clouds made it impossible for the sun to give us any excessive heat. My throat and eyes were burning from the large saltwater intake and I had left my bag (containing my passport, phone and money) with a man named Ben who promised to take care of it. Yet, the water had a way of calming the whole situation. If Ben had wanted to steal my bag he had probably done it by now, which only gave me the option of washing my hands and enjoying the water for as long as I could. 

Some times, it’s important to get that little time off where you just shut out everything else going on in your life. This day couldn’t have been a worse pick. I had just recieved an email from the university that was my first choice saying I had urgent complications I needed to fix (caused by my school and not me, by the way). Being on holiday, with restricted internet and a deadline to uphold you’d think I’d be on the case from the minute I recieved the email. Instead I took a taxi to the beach and decided to clear my mind.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this blog post but taking some time away just to recollect myself must have been the best thing I did that day. Ben gave back my bag with all my belonings and the upcoming days everything fell into place and I managed to take levelheaded decisions. I guess sometimes it’s better to let your intuition guide you instead of your reasoning.

Wrong

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Could I be wrong for claiming the things that I claim
Could I be wrong for not wanting to jump on the same train
Could I be wrong for not concluding at the same pace
For not wanting to take part in a race game

Could I be wrong for taking distance from common thought
For not taking a stand straight on the spot
For not raising my voice without hesitation
For not leading a blind mob with full detemination

Was it ever wrong to disagree
Could I yell free speech
And, yet, think before I speak?

Trending Activism

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Last summer I was all for it.  To stand for something. To believe in something. We were throwing our fists in the air for Palestine, singing against Monsanto and their genetically modified food, taking selfies against human trafficking, trending one hashtag after an other. I wore at least 6 bracelets, all for different causes, every day. You’d never see me without them. One day I just took a step back to reevaluate what I was doing. I was taking selfies against human trafficking and yet when I found a project where I, voluntarily, could help victims based in my city I never signed up. I wore a “Save the Arctic” T-shirt but never bothered recycling plastic. And it wasn’t just me, – we are a whole generation of youth activists. We feel the need to stand for something, – to fight for something. The world is full of injustice and our optimism to end it all is high. But will hashtag campaigns and bracelets help?

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I took a moment to think of it all. It was easy to show up for a protest against the war in Gaza, sign up one of the solidarity organisations, join the hype. But as soon as the organisation called for a charity peoject or a meeting I’d rather make an excuse not to show. Although I kept their “Free Palestine” -badge which I wore every day. Whenever a new hashtag campaign was trending I was on it. #WeAreAllMonkeys #BringBackOurGirls #IcantBreathe. But was it always for the cause or sometimes for the likes? image

After that summer my bracelets disappeared from my wrist one by one. I stopped showing up to demonstrations, unless they were for solidarity. What changed? I realised I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons or that it often was a short lived passion that I couldn’t commit to. I hadn’t read enough about the cause or how the organisation I was supporting handled it. Frank Ocean conveyed what I’m trying to say much clearer in his song Eyes like Sky; “… A green girl, she drives a green car through a dream world, She meets up at the green club and talks of saving the Earth from itself” The green girl is an environmentalist. She drives a green car (although the electricity  used for the car might come from pollutants) and she’s a member of a green club. Yet, all she does is talk about the issue, not face it and try to be resourceful in stopping it. The cause she is fighting for becomes a hobby not a passion. I felt like I became the green girl last summer and at some point between fighting for the cause and being a part of the community fighting for it I got lost. And I believe I’m not the only one

Raise Your Glass

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Stand up now and raise your glass
The more we water it the greener the grass
It rained every day now we free at last
The sun is shining so fuck(calculating) its mass
Or the force of a circuit, that’s all in the past
Do my exams and get out of here fast
Cause school is just a play and I’m a part of the cast

I wrote this during a boring physics class right before my finals 2 years ago. The sun was shining and we were stuck inside trying to understand what our monotone teacher was trying to convey. The guy sitting next to me used to write rap and poetry in class when he was bored so I tried doing the same and this was the result.

The Taboo of being Mainstream

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We were sitting in the school bus on our way home from school when my class mate told me; “You know you’re not like other girls”. It was neither a compliment nor an insult. It was just a neutral statement based on observations made during our conversation. Being very odd and different while growing up, I definately did not react positively the statement. After all I used my childhood trying to become like other girls.

Ironically, that sentence is used by many girls to describe themselves; “I’m not like other girls, you know”. Social medias are full of quotes about embrace of being special and different which is generally not a bad thing but it seems to have become an obsession. This constant search of the alternative has brought forth a pretentious uniqueness. A hipster movement.

And it has brought its problems. With a whole movement of people trying to be as different as possible it’s  mathematically proved that they are doomed to have similar traits. The more people trying to be different, the harder it gets. It’s a vicious cycle.

What people have forgotten is that being yourself is not synonymous to being different or to run away from the common. Embrace the mainstream the same way you embrace the alternative. Find your own balance.

And finally my special quote… “I listened to Lana del Rey before she became mainstream, you know”Well, did you breath before that was cool too?”

More Oscar Wilde

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I wrote down my favorite quotes while reading Lady Windermere’s fan by Oscar Wilde and thought I should share them. Some of these have already been circulating on social medias so they are familiar.

“I can resist anything, except temptation.”
Lord Darlington

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”
Lord Darlington

“Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones.”
Duchess of Berwick

“We make Gods of men then they leave us.  Others make brutes of them and they fawn and are faithful.”
Lady Windermere

“That is the worst of women.  They always want one to be good.  And if we are good, when they meet us, they don’t love us at all.  They like to find us quite irretrievably bad, and to leave us quite unattractively good.”
Cecil Graham

“Well, there’s nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman.  It’s a thing no married man knows anything about.”
Graham

“In this world there are only two tragedies.  One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
Dumby

“And besides, if a woman really repents, she has to go to a bad dressmaker, otherwise no one believes in her.”
Mrs. Erlynne

(When asked what is a cynic)
“A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Lord Darlington

Dumby; How long could you love a woman who didn’t love you, Cecil?
Cecil Graham;  A woman who didn’t love me?  Oh, all my life!
Dumby;  So could I.  But it’s so difficult to meet one.