Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A Touch of Sunshine

It's Week 9 of an 11 week term. It's not the longest term of the year, but with four modules on the go, as many societies, and the threat of exams looming on the horizon, it certainly feels it.

I, like many members of my university, am coming down with a bit of a case of end-of-term-itis. This disease, I understand, is common worldwide, this particular variant being that which attacks those young persons still attached to some form of full-time education. While not deadly, the symptoms and fallout of end-of-term-itis can be a lot to cope with; constant tiredness, low mood, dark circles under the eyes, lack of motivation, and occasional existential crisis brought on by all of the above.

Luckily, while no cure exists, there are plenty of aids to guide the whimpering, quivering mass of student through the last weeks of their trial. And one of the best, I have discovered, is a walk in the sunshine.

I love my university; I love my course, I love the vast majority of my lecturers and module convenors, I love the city and all the excitements in it, and I especially love all my new friends. While university is, arguably, only a slightly bigger bubble than the school I cam from, it's a bubble home to a much larger variety of people, and thus with far greater room to find those with whom you can strike up an instant bond over shared interests.

Still, tiredness gets to us all. And sometimes, you just need to take yourself out for a nice Saturday morning walk and do a bit of thinking, just by yourself.
So that's what I did.

I remember, a couple of weeks ago, when we were discussing the finer points of Modernism (and I sat hissing and foaming in the back of the classroom at the pretentiousness of it all), we discussed a quote from one of the innumerable critics who said that, often, it is little things in life, like noting the pattern of leaves on a tree or the fall of light across a lake, that can mean the most to people.

On a slightly more scientific level, for those of you who like that sort of thing, there's also the
phenomenon of SAD - Seasonal Affected Disorder. Oddly enough, it's not as bad as it sounds - it basically lends a name to that feeling of creeping misery that comes over people when the world goes dark and cold and wet for 90% of the year and we all gaze longingly upon our barbecues on June afternoons with a sense of thwarted potential.

Wandering about in the sunshine, I began to understand where both of these theories were coming from.

In the increasinly busy world of Modern Human Life, people don't often have a lot of time to get out of their microcosms and take some time just to look around at the world and - as John Lennon said - Let It Be. As I said in my post, The Selfish Me, this focus on oneself can often be more stress than it's worth, buffering cases of SAD and end-of-term-itis and generally leaving the world a little bit bleh.

Still, it's reassuring to know that as long as there is  a touch of sunshine, and a person needing their enjoyment, that the bleh need not come to define everything.

Looking forward, though, things promise to be a little more exciting over here at the Leaning Tower of Plot. It will depend very much on how things go as I set about organising everything, but, hopefully, there will be a great deal of awesome impending.

To give you a little sneak peek into the plan rather than leaving it an oblique vaguary - it's going to involve guest posts. Hopefully, lots of guest posts, from lots of awesome people. About awesome people in awesome things. Awesome geeky things.

There may also be a giveaway impending, tied into this Awesome Geeky Thing.

Who knows. Whoooo knooooows...

I hope you all, whether you suffer from end-of-term-itis or look back on those days with a shadowed eye and a shudder, have a wonderful week, and that you, too, may find your touch of sunshine in the middle of it all.

~ Charley R


  1. Awesome post. The world is awesome, but sometimes you're stuck staring at the caterpillars for so long you forget to look up at the butterflies.

    That was a lot more poetic than I meant it to be. I'm so, so sorry.

    Anyway, I'm glad you have a way to combat this melancholia-- it will go well for you. I apologize for not commenting in so long. (For some reason I don't get email updates from you, despite having signed up both of my email addresses.) And I am very curious about the Awesome Geeky Thing. And the guest posts.

    1. As well you might be - *insert enigmatic look and music here*.
      Personally, I think your little piece of poetry is really rather nice. Good metaphor.

    2. At least it didn't rhyme. But I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Awesome post! It makes me feel a bit better about this season - I probably have SAD. I have hated just about each and every winter post-New-Year's. :/

    Also, those photos are AWESOME. I especially love the top one - that building? SO COOL.

    1. I'm glad you liked them! I have a few more, but they weren't as good and the post wasn't long enough to house them. I rather like that building too. Such a pity the university so often have it loaned out for weddings that no one dares go near it for fear of being caught in a photo xD

  3. Love the photos!

    I think I've been experiencing a slight case of SAD as well, and I reeeeally want school to be over. I'm on my last day of Spring Break though, and there are eight more weeks to go. I'll make it somehow, but I'm feeling quite meh about the whole thing.