Cure for the winter blues

January is not blogger Angelo Braam’s favourite month. But this year he has discovered a way of dealing with the problem: dreaming about an Erasmus exchange in a hot country.
Photo: Sven Menschel

Text: Angelo Braam

‘The days are gloomy, the temperatures bracing and the
Christmas holidays already seem ages ago. It’s that typical time of
year in the final weeks of January. My energy is sapped, I just want to
stay at home and my usually high level of motivation seems to have abandoned me in 2019. That’s right — I’ve got the winter blues. This is what happens pretty much every January. Memories of summer and travelling have been going through my head a lot. After all, it will be a few more months before we can once again enjoy the hot, long, light days. But I’m used to this after years of winter blues. And I haven’t got it quite as bad
now as in previous years. In fact if I compare myself to international
students who are experiencing a “real winter” for the first time, my
blues hardly count at all. And fortunately there are always little things in Wageningen life that can give you a boost again. Take the Erasmus exchange, for example, which is currently the topic of the day among my fellow students because of the fastapproaching 1 February deadline. My bleak winter mood melts away at the thought of a new adventure with loads of fresh challenges in — a not unimportant fact — a
hotter climate. I am considering exchange positions in Jerusalem
and Istanbul, cities in a region I have warm memories of. Suddenly
the dispiriting January grind gets forgotten as I develop an intense itch to go travelling — I want to get away now! Of course I will need to be patient. If my application even gets accepted. But it’s good to have something to look forward to. That motivates me to get on with my tasks for the winter. And also makes me realize how fond I am of my life in Wageningen and the people around me. I will be able to enjoy all this a bit more over the next few cold weeks thanks to my warm prospects.’

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