Spring fever


Anyone who bumped into me on campus these past few weeks, saw me hopping and humming. Now that winter is finally over, spring fever is coming.

It's getting a little out of hand: I cheer when the sun comes through and wave to the young rabbits along the Dommel River. The daisies pop out of the grass and I hope for a family of geese in Atlas Pond every day. However, this weather has also made me discover a new enemy: college credits. 

We are being held hostage to lectures, meetings and self-study sessions. Thousands of young people are locked away, right in the spring of their lives. We are condemned to our deadlines. In drab university buildings, we sit shoulder to shoulder under system ceilings. Sometimes I look up nervously at the blue sky and sigh. There is not a shred of concentration left in my body for this academic year. How hot it is here. In Atlas, the guards of the “smart” prison system won't even let me open the windows. 

During lunch we are allowed to go outside for a moment for fresh air. Suddenly swarming with students, I see that everyone has as much blush in their heads as I do. All the trapped animals run to a nice spot by the well. Outside, you meet forgotten friends and sometimes even make new connections. Beware, soon spring will really itch. 

After the last, and often most difficult hours of the day, when the sun is low again, we are finally released. A burden falls from your shoulders. On the way to your bike, a fresh breeze tempts you to set aside self-regulation, to sit in the grass with friends and a beer. Sun-drunk, you then decide to have a pizza delivered right away. 

Aim for a little excessive joie de vivre. After all, you only get one chance to experience the evening glory of your youth. This spring and the coming summer are our distraction from all that's going on and all that needs to be. 

Stay put until the sun goes down, and celebrate freedom, as a protest against all the bad things in the world. 

Tim de Jong is an Industrial Design student at TU/e

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