A final exam, a moot court project, and three final essays later, and the first quarter is finally finished. Hooray! Friends ask, so how do you feel?
First, exhausted! The last several weeks seem like a blur, after seemingly doing nothing but studying, doing research, writing, meeting with study groups and project groups. Oh, you do eat, sleep, go to class, and venture out of your lair when you run out of coffee (desperate times, and all). But sort of like that long, snarled drive to work, you find yourself at your destination with no clear recollection of the journey. Just mighty glad it’s over!
Second, relieved! You have crossed everything off your academic to-do list; whatever you coulda-shoulda-woulda done, it’s a moot point now (moot court pun intended!). You can sleep in without waking up to the sword of Damocles. You can clean house, stock up on groceries, get caught up with family and friends, and have a little fun. Read a novel instead of another law treatise. Watch some really bad TV. With Dutch subtitles. Go see a movie, stay out late and drink just enough to get out and dance!
Third, euphoric! You did it! One fourth of the program is behind you and now the rest seems so much more manageable. Externship, master’s thesis and all! Yeah baby, you rocked it!
Fourth, oh nooo! The next quarter starts not even a week later. And externship work begins before that, even. And that other to-do list, which you so studiously ignored, now beckons and does not look like any more fun than when you abandoned it for finals. You know, all those mundane chores that have a way of piling up; banking, solving vexing computer issues instead of patching them, addressing random household appliances that have mysteriously stopped working. Reality rains all over your parade. As if there isn't enough rain around here!
Not to mention, suddenly the holidays loom! While you were busy studying, little elves came out and decorated the streets of the city center with Sinter Klaas lights and stocked the stores with chocolate, marzipan, kruidnoten, and almond staffs. When did that happen? No matter, this presents a whole ‘nother to-do list. Guess reality will have to wait!