During my senior year of college, I was taking classes full time, writing my thesis, and working four jobs. It was exhausting. I never got more than 4-6 hours of sleep a night. I never felt like I had enough time to hang out with my friends. All I wanted was a break, where I could just have the time to do what I wanted!

I hate to lean on clichés, but the whole “be careful what you wish for” thing kind of covers it. With this job, I work 12 hours a week. I spend a little more time preparing my curriculum than that, but even then it’s not any higher than 15. I know I am probably the most annoying person in the world to be complaining about this. Poor me, I have so much free time! My life is so hard, being able to do whatever I want!

But now that I’ve settled in things have gotten slow around here, and it would be nice to have a balance. I’ve always been the type of person who loves summer break for the first two weeks, and then quickly thereafter becomes bored with it.

At first I put myself on full vacation mode, lying around like a sedentary hippo on a hot day.

I know, I know. France really has changed my looks quite a bit.

The less I have to do, the less I do, which I have discovered can quickly become a downward spiral into sloth and self-loathing. The other day when I woke up from a leisurely nap (after already having slept in), I told myself: That’s enough of your hippo-like behavior, Kristin. You need to get up and do something.

Today I bike rode around town and got my social security set up. I applied for some jobs, and did my laundry. I deep cleaned the kitchen for two hours and then cleaned my bedroom. Then I took a bus ride to the grocery store the furthest away from my apartment to buy less than 10 euro worth of groceries.

The upside to this is how much less stressful my life has become. This is basically the first time ever that I haven’t had any homework. I am fully rested all the time, and can already tell the positive effects it has on my health. I also have as much time as I want to prepare meals, which comes along with trying new recipes (banana quinoa pancakes, anyone?).

But as I realized when I was talking with Shaun the other night, I could probably use a new hobby. It’s kind of funny, because I always considered French as my hobby. And now that I’m immersed in it…well, I guess I need something extra to keep myself occupied. Any ideas? I’m more than open to suggestions.

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