It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! (If you didn’t sing that then what are you doing?). It is now December and it is finally acceptable to get excited for Christmas! Although I have been excited for Christmas from right after my birthday (which I am not going to tell you when it is because you might think I am crazy). We have put up our Christmas tree and it looks so lovely in the living room, it brings such joy and warmth to the house (not literal warmth though, unfortunately, that would be very welcome). So as the beginning of December as creeped up on us, it is time to look back on November and everything that it has brought. November has been quite a month, I wouldn’t say so much has happened in it per se but a lot of emotions were felt. But lets start at the beginning.
At the beginning of November I started the second block at uni (each semester is also divided into two blocks here in Holland). Throughout the month I have also been looking into studying abroad for the first semester of the next academic year. By now I have looked into all the universities, filled in all the documents and sent in my request. Now it’s time to wait as I am pretty sure we don’t get to know if we were accepted until February. The universities I have chosen as first and second place are both in England, the first being the University of Hull and the second Nottingham Trent University. I really hope I get a place in Hull, as the subjects just sounded amazing. And when I am there I do hope that I can travel through the country, visit some of the big cities and maybe also meet some other bloggers!
If I am honest though, the process of applying to study abroad was hell and more. The websites of most of these universities are very unclear, if you e-mail them you either get a reply a week after (when it’s almost too late) or not at all. Calling them didn’t work because apparently those phone numbers didn’t exist anymore, or so my phone said. So the process of applying was less than enjoyable, so I am glad that is behind me.
My mental health also suffered tremendously from this less than enjoyable process. I have, for the first time, actually experienced anxiety, something that I didn’t think happened to me or that I had. Because of this I also couldn’t really concentrate on much other uni work, and had to take some mental health days where I just didn’t do anything even if that wasn’t my intention. So that is also the reason why I haven’t really been around much on any of my social media including my blog. I couldn’t put another burden on my shoulders. But I want to talk to you more about my mental health and anxiety in another blog post, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
To end on some exciting news though, Sinterklaas is in town! For those of you who aren’t Dutch or don’t know, Sinterklaas is kind of like a Dutch Santa – but he’s not the replacement of Santa, we also have him, we’re not going to throw out Christmas! Sinterklaas is a man who lives in Madrid, Spain during the year, then on the second to last Sunday (I think) of November, he gathers up all his helpers, called pieten, and they come to Holland on his boat. There is a whole big event on the day he arrives, and all the children in Holland go see his arrival. Then from that day until the 5th of December the kids in Holland get to put out one shoe at night, with a carrot in it for Sinterklaas’ horse, and then Sinterklaas or one of his pieten will come at night to give the kid a little present. Then on the 5th of December, Sinterklaas and his pieten go around every house and leave a big sack of presents on every doorstep, right before he goes back home on his boat.
This year me and my sister and her children went to the big event of Sinterklaas coming to Utrecht, and for me it was the very first time ever. So you can just imagine me standing there having my little child’s dream come true. That same day we played secret Santa with the family and the day I am writing this, we are all going to give each other the presents, together with a poem and a ‘surprise’ (needs to be read in Dutch, it is basically a very fancy and creative way of opening or gifting a present).
So that is my November in a nutshell – or a little more than a nutshell because I believe I’ve written quite a lot – I have really missed blogging and I have been feeling eager to get behind my laptop again and start writing. I have so many ideas for blogposts that I can’t wait to make and share with you all.