It’s hard to think of the year of study as anything but study. Study can appear to take over everything, with thoughts about the course materials and what you are learning creeping into every waking moment and, dare I say, the occasional dream. Depending I guess on so many factors, this “immersion” in the content of your studies can take various degrees.
This is where taking time out from studies comes in handy, whether your immersion is “full on” and you’ve experienced a complete take-over or whether your course is just something else you are doing – taking time out can help you gain a healthy perspective.
This is one of the reasons I took the opportunity to visit some friends over the Easter break and spend some time in the Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful and idyllic areas of the British Isles. If England’s green is what you are missing by being in London, and if the rolling hills of Wordsworth or Coleridge are only mental images from days gone by of reading poetry in brown-paged paperbacks, then take the train to Gloucester and enjoy peaceful joys such as Witcombe, “The Slaughters” (not sure why it’s called that) or Bourton-on-the-Water, where the photo here was taken. I couldn’t believe this was only 2 hours away by train.
Once the logistics of getting around have been sorted (you’ll need to figure out how to get to small towns and villages; we had a car but that might not be practical for some students), days of Olde Worldy English country life have their effect. Especially over the Easter break, where exams loom just six weeks away, I found that a few days away worked as a perfect segue from the intensity of the weekly studies of different topics to the gaining of a whole course overview as I looked back on the previous six months.
So, life at LSE doesn’t have to be all study and no life. A bit of planning, time and funds is all it needs.