The last time I addressed you all, I spoke about the big decision I had taken, namely to leave my degree program at TU/e and head in a new direction. At the moment, however, something else is staring me unflinchingly in the face: what am I to do with the time that used to be taken up with study?

Several people around me are in the same situation and this overabundance of time is afflicting them in a similar way. Aren't I bored out of my skull, they ask me with regularity. In response to this question I ask myself another: how is it possible that they are not capable of filling their time? The most important issue currently occupying me is what, in a general sense, am I going to do with my life? Because first time around, evidently, I did not answer this question well.

From this experience I have drawn the conclusion that second time around I need to tackle this question much more thoroughly. The first time I asked myself this question, I focused my attention exclusively on technical studies. Set in stone for years, the entire strategy I had devised for this moment viewed this as the goal; after all the technical field is highly prestigious.

In retrospect, this was not the right plan of approach, so this time around I am taking a much broader view of my options. I'll be entertaining a broad palette of studies, from philosophy of law to dentistry, if only in passing. For a seasoned techie, of course, this topic is taboo. For the reason why, see the end of the preceding paragraph. The still new realization that I am not, after all, the seasoned techie I thought I was has given many other studies the right to be heard.

Striking up conversations here and there with people I know is also opening new doors to me. Only recently, I spoke to someone I used to go to school with; we discovered our shared interest in the work of the Canadian clinical psychologist and writer Jordan Peterson. Our conversation, which lasted an hour and a half, stoked my interest in checking out the political-psychological field my interlocutor is discovering on his degree program.

As well as being occupied with the question which color my future will have, there is also the present moment to be filled. Plenty of activities are keeping my mind from falling into boredom mode. Having learned that I get a lot of satisfaction from private tutoring, I applied to work for online homework supervisors Lyceo and now I am supervising pupils as they study their science subjects. VluchtelingenWerk Nederland, an organization supporting refugees, also has my résumé. And in this pre-election season, I am distributing folders in my neighborhood for the party I support. Holes in my day have been long filled.

Everyone needs to keep busy; it's not usually human nature to sit still. Although, having said that, there are times when an absence of activities is much needed. For anyone who has no idea what to do with all that unused time, take a good look around; you can always find something to do. And when you do, your future may well be rosier than you first thought.

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