4. Photos

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Everyone who has been in my dorm knows my photo wall. It is filled with weird but amazing photo’s of people who have been really important for me. Every time I look at it I just smile. They all remind me of amazing memories, trips I’ve been on, people I’ve met, things I’ve experienced. Things that I am grateful for and even though I’m not really friends anymore with some of the people on those pictures, I could never take them down. They used to be a huge part of my life and they shaped me into who I am.

So to my next boyfriend (whoever you may be or whenever you may come) I’m not sorry about those pictures of my ex hanging up. Before he was my boyfriend, he was my best friend for three years and it would just feel wrong to no represent him on my wall of people who changed my life. And to the people that walked out of my life on bad terms, you’re not getting down from this wall either, you had to play a big part in my life for us to get in such a big fight and I’m sorry it ended this way. But I would never want to forget all the good times and all the good advice you once gave me.

But these photos aren’t just a reminder for myself, they are also for my kids (if I will ever have some). I want my kids to know who I was when I went to college, I want them to know who my friends are and what I’ve done in my youth. I want them to know about those crazy nights I went out partying so they know that whatever happens I will always be there and that I will understand.

I would never want to forget a single thing that’s on this wall, because they made me who I am today… And right now, I kind of like who I am.

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3. Kids

No, not my own kids, I’m 20 for heavens sake! I mean the kids where I work. Google translate is giving me playground as a translation, but let me illuminate my number 3 of thing that make me feel good again.

In the USA you have camp counselors, well, it’s sort of the same. Except that I don’t work on a camp, I work on a fenced playground where kids come during the day to play games with me and the rest of the team and they go home around 5 o’clock. This is the best job ever (in my opinion). Yeah, we don’t get paid a lot and the days are long and sometimes very hard but I still wouldn’t dream about something else to fill my summers with. There is just so much satisfaction in the job. I see kids that don’t want to be there in the morning, who think they’re too old for this and would rather spend their time at home with their x-box or playstation. But I also see their smiles during our lunchtime animation and if they find a activity interesting those are the best people to have in your team. I love seeing their eyes light up during the day and I love hearing them tell their adventures to their parents when it’s time to go home. That playground is my escape, a place where fantasy and reality are one and new rules apply. That team that I see every summer has become more of a family then just friends. Being there makes me feel good and I hope that me being there also makes the day of kids, even if it’s just one.

Yes, my summer job is one of the main reasons I can’t wait for the summer. It can’t come quickly enough.

2. Movies and wine

No, I am not an alcoholic. I just don’t really mind drinking alone.

Exams are coming, quickly and after studying for about a month I am completely worn out. I have no concentration and a lack of courage to carry on for that last week. So I did nothing for 3 days. I thought my concentration would come back after the first day of chilling, it didn’t. I asked my friends to motivate me, did nothing. On the third day I was starting to freak out, the clock is ticking and I’m running out of time. I decided that instead of relaxing at my dorm, I would go outside and try to relax. Shopping didn’t relax me at all, The MAC was empty so the saleswoman were lingering around like eagles watching their pray and the shopping street itself was completely overrun by people.
NOT relaxing at all

So when I get home I’m even more exhausted then I was before and looking in my fridge I had come to the frustrating conclusion that if I wanted anything to eat tonight, I would have to go to the store. Angry at myself for eating all my food I went to the Albert Heijn for a pizza. When I walked through the wine section I saw these adorable little plastic bottles of wine (they were 0,25l). My day had been tiring and I was losing hope on ever retrieving my concentration back so I went: WHY THE FUCK NOT! and grabbed one.

Best decision EVER. I just had a really relaxed evening watching my favorite movie, drinking delicious wine and eating amazing pizza. I was so relaxed and okay after that, not worrying about anything, just getting my mind of it. Not constantly thinking that I still had to do this or that, just completely relaxing. I woke up this morning feeling fresh and ready to start studying again.

So my advice is, if you’re not 100% and you feel like something’s just not working and you don’t know how to carry on. Do something that relaxes you completely, it could be going out with friends or a sport or finishing 2 pizza’s by yourself (I am not ashamed) while drinking wine and looking at your favorite movie/serie. Do something that calms you and go from there.

1. My boys

Get up! is going to be a list of things that make me happy, things that keep me going. One of the most present thing in my life are my boys. Let me introduce them to you.

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Meet Abzu and Buddha.
These are my gerbils, also knows as my boys. I’ve always wanted pets in my dorm but last year I was living together with someone who hated animals. Now that I moved and got my own snug little room I saw my chance. Convincing my mom wasn’t difficult actually, she had pets when she was a student too and thought it was a good stress relieve.

My mom is absolutely right. I love my boys, they are funny and full of life. I don’t even mind that they aren’t quite cuddly. They always cheer me up. Whenever I need a break I just let them loose on my bed and look at them running and jumping around and they just make me laugh. It is actually scientifically proven that pets reduce tension and improve moods.

Abzu is the grey one on the left of the picture. He’s the shy one but he’s beginning to come out of his shell. The name Abzu is from Mesopotamia, it’s the god of a river under the ground. I could not believe how well fitted the name was for him as all he ever does is dig dig dig. Most of the time he is digging or hiding. He likes to stay on the bottom level of the cage.

Buddha may be Abzu’s brother, but they are complete opposites. Buddha is the energetic one, the escape artist. Whenever I come to the cage, he’s at the door waiting to get some treats. He truly is the adventurous one, a few days ago I opened the top door to give them some food. I turned around to get their food and when I turned back Buddha was sitting on the top of the cage, waiting for his dinner. When he’s on my bed, he’s always the one to get in trouble: falling of my bed, hiding behind the cushions, using me as a climbing frame. Just look at him


The cheekiest little gerbil you’ve ever seen.

I can’t thank my mom enough for letting me get these and may I mention that I did not buy these at a pet store or whatever. I actually got them on a second hand site from a family who accidentally had a litter. So I kind of see them as my “rescue” animals. I’m also looking into getting a third one, this time from my local animal rescue.