Being so busy your head might explode

Being so busy that my head might explode is not a problem I have only encountered on Erasmus. I tend to live in this state and whenever I try not to I get so bored I end up straight back at the head exploding stage. But, like most things in my life, Erasmus has definitely exacerbated the issue.
I’ve always been slightly afraid of ‘missing out’. The Blitz episode of How I Met Your Mother (which essentially deals with this fear) is a terrifying warning to me. Never leave early. Never say no. Take every opportunity. Every single one. Tired? What if this is the night I was destined to meet George Clooney? Work to do? What if I never get to taste Alsatian wine again? Early start? But this could be the event that everyone will talk about for years to come!
Erasmus of course exacerbates any kind of fear of missing out. When I think to myself, ‘this might be my last chance to do this’ it’s not actually irrational. University teaches you how quickly time can go, each year surpassing the last in shear speed. By your year abroad you are aware that you’ll be leaving before you’ve realised it. Discovering a new culture is about finding out how much there is to discover. I often feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of places I want to see and food I have to try in the Alsace alone.
I’m really thankful I have this fear because without it my life would be fairly empty. It’s what got me to France and made me stay. However, it is an exhausting fear to have. Sometimes I look at my diary and immediately have to hide it again. It turns into a mass of arrows, crossings out and terrifyingly highlighted exam dates. I forget to factor in small things like revision and have to write messages to myself such as ‘leave this weekend free to revise’. However I tried this last December and ended up inviting a friend to stay (still not sure how I managed to pass those exams). Free space becomes a challenge to fill. I forget that I probably have a stomach ulcer forming that needs no encouragement to grow.
So logically I should now give some sage advice about pacing yourself and the fact you can always return. But honestly? Go crazy. Fill your weekends with wine trips and visits to friends around France. Cram revision in that hour between visiting the European Parliament and drinks with friends. Spend money you don’t have on interrailing. As long as you’re enjoying yourself that stomach ulcer will recede (which they definitely can do). Of course try to pass your exams, but in the process why not have some fun too?

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