I was in Amsterdam for four days with my girlfriend and as I got my first text telling me that our results had been put online, we rushed to find a waffle shop with free Wi-Fi.
It was then, whilst eating my waffle topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, that I found out I had been awarded a first class honours for my Masters in Physics! I was over the moon and the knowledge made my waffle taste even nicer than it already did!
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, notable for its architecture and canals.
Naturally that moment became one of my holiday highlights, along with watching the sea lion show at the local zoo, taking a relaxing canal tour through the city and engaging with the interactive exhibits at the Amsterdam Museum. Whilst Amsterdam is known for being a party city, it also has a large amount of culture, including the fascinating van Gogh museum and the Rijksmuseum, which houses an enormous gallery of 17th Century paintings amongst other collections.
The sea lions were incredible.
As I mentioned above, this is not my first holiday whilst I’ve been at University; I went to the beautiful Belgian town of Brugge last year and I have also been on two less-cultured holidays to Marmaris and Magaluf. With budget airlines and great deals to be found online (we found a four star hotel room at a very tempting discounted price), going on holiday as a student is cheap and easy, and is fast becoming part of the University experience, especially considering that students have incredibly long summer holidays that run from June to September!
My girlfriend and I enjoying our holiday in Amsterdam together.
Even if your friends aren’t organised enough to book a summer excursion, there are still chances to travel as many societies hold their own holidays. For ArtSoc (the University’s Art Society) there was an opportunity to go to Florence over the Easter break, but sadly with a looming Masters project deadline, on top of revision and interviews, I was unable to go. Most sports societies tend to organise competitions or tours abroad too, and if the sun isn’t your thing, the University has a Skiing and Snowboarding Society too!
As a student it can sometimes be hard to find funds for holidays, so there are always alternatives closer to home. At some point over the summer, my friends back home in Surrey want to do a small camping trip, where badly barbecued burgers and haphazard tent erecting is more than enough to have a good time! If you’re in Southampton over the summer, why not explore the New Forest with some friends? It couldn’t be closer!
This summer is my last big break before I start work as a medical physicist in September, so I am allowing myself to enjoy it and take all the opportunities that come my way. My holiday to Amsterdam turned out to be a perfect way to celebrate all the hard work I put in to my degree and I’m now looking forward to graduating in three weeks’ time.