By Elif Özer, Writer
Let’s think our life as a series of scales.
One side of the scales has our demands such as assignments, deadlines, internship, part-time jobs, exams, and crucial decisions regarding our future and career path.
On the other side of the scales, we have resources that make us strong, happy, and satisfied such as supportive mates, symphatetic teachers, loved ones, family, sufficient financial source, and social support.
International students experience harder conditions within University environment/context. For instance, there are difficulties such as taking courses in second language, plaques in Dutch, finding internship because of being international students, accommodation issues, and being far away from family and loved ones.
Guys, I feel you!
Let’s go back to the scales! If we find balance between these scales, it means that we reach the optimal productive life, which is mature and healthy.
But what if one of these sides is heavier than other?
If demands are heavier than resources, some outcomes can be monitored such as anxiety, sleep disturbance, chronic headache, low self esteem, less attention on lectures and, last but not least, burnout!
Burnout can last over periods of five, ten, or even fifteen years in response to these years recoverement/treatment is unescapable and long lasting.
Whenever demands are much lighter, it is difficult to engage and stay motivated because we underestimate our capabilities and do not make any contribute to our development.
So we need also stress and challenge to break the shell of us!
Do you want to get balance for your madly unbalanced scales?
There are two ways: Either decrease demands, which is not possible with compulsory deadlines from school, or increasing resources that are applicable.
Here are some recommendations for internationals to do so:
- Finding a group of people to negotiate difficulties and getting ideas about solutions of being international in the Netherlands. (i.e., fellowships, voluntary jobs)
- Discovering some blogs and magazines in which are useful to learn Dutch Culture and Utrecht to increase your sense of belonging (i.e., ESN blogs and magazines ☺)
- Getting into a routine on your own like going to the gym, yoga, a paint course, etc.
- Going on trips to museums that are the best places to learn about Dutch history and try some Dutch flavors, such as Oliebollen! Foods have cultured touch!
Hey you! If you have another ideas to adapt this new life for others, please comment below!