Much to my shame, I’ve found my economic training to be close to useless when trying to understand what’s going on with the economy. It’s like all those micro- and macro- and finance classes went in one ear and out both of them; news reports made no sense and neither did the buzzwords thrown around in dinner discussions. “Housing market bubble”, “USA’s debt to China”, “toxic assets” – what now?
Most students who study think of themselves as intelligent people and consequently think they are even smarter than most other people. I’m one of those people, but I can honestly state that I don’t even come near to what I should know. The past years I’ve been starting reading more books (as before I couldn’t be bothered less). And although I should spend more time on it, I did manage to read through 4 gems that are a true recommendation for those of us who think they know it all. Read more
I kind of took a break from the blog for a while. The main reason is because I was a bit too busy to actually write something useful down (as far as you can call this blog useful, but I leave that up to you). Ok quick summary of the past two weeks before moving on to the main topic of the blog.
I had an exam and some writing assignments and I am currently finishing the first manuscript for a book me and a friend (Sasha Fayek) are writing. We have a deadline for the publisher so this kind of destroys a whole lot of time. I’ll tell you about this later on, no worries. However, the most intriguing event (which is therefore promoted to topic of this blog) was the fact that my first semester as president of ESN is over.
I never could have expected how awesome these past months were. Ok, I admit, my expectations were high. But this is mainly due to the fact that I was active member last year. As an active member you have fairly little responsibility and you can only be judged on your own retardedness. When becoming a board member you actually have to do more than organize a trip and party your ass of every (ESN) night. Thankfully those responsibilities were nothing compared to the joy it brought me. I’ve met amazing people who experienced their time here as one big adventure. I guess a lot of regular students can learn something from the exchangers. We tend to take our time here for granted. The exchangers enjoy themselves with everything they can get their hands on. I asked myself why I didn’t do the traveling they do. Paris is only 5 hours away, so why not go their more frequent instead of destroying my liver in my local pub multiple times a week. I honestly don’t have a clue.
It is like they’ve got no boundaries. When you talk to students who come back from their period abroad they describe it in a way which comes close to my idea of heaven. Even though they have to study a lot they party like they’ve never partied before. In their 4 months they travel to more places they’ve been to their entire life. They meet more lovers and friends than the last girl on earth would if she was stranded on an island filled with adolescent hormone packed boys. They even enrich their life with other cultures instead of staying in their own protective bubble of accustomed values and beliefs. Guess I should learn something from this and try to explore the world myself as well. This means that I plan to leave this country as much as my free time permits me too (which actually isn’t as much as I would like to).
So far for my first good intention of the year. I’ve got two more. The first is that I want to become more honest even when this is not the most politically correct way. Speaking the mind lowers my stress and if I should believe all literature on altruism, my stress is the only stress that matters for me (sounds egocentric doesn’t it?). The second one is, how original, that I want to exercise more. Compared to how physically fit I’ve been in the past, I feel like a fat kid who plays videogames all day while having a total resentment towards exercise, because the jocks keep picking on him for his lack of fitting in with the criteria of being ‘cool’.
Thankfully ESN is going to help me with that. Despite the fact that the last semester was awesome, we are going to kick things up a nudge next semester. More parties, cultural and (yes) sports related activities. People always become competitive whenever nationalities play against each other and this is exactly what we are planning to do. Let’s see whether the Spanish will beat us again in our own special mini world cup. Maybe we can take revenge by kicking their ass in a rowing match? We’ll see. At least this will motivate me to get back into shape again. We become an adult this year and we therefore plan to celebrate our 21st birthday with a big bang. The good part for all of you regular students? We have way more ‘open’ parties and events everyone can join (amongst which is the birthday party). I therefore hope to see you guys more in the next semester.
In case you still don’t have a clue what we actually do for our students,here’s a promo video: