My master plan


Contrary to what the title suggests, my ‘master plan’ really wasn’t well thought out. To preface this, I spent the last two weeks of my holidays in Australia and did everything in my power to enjoy the trip, get my work done and avoid a jetlag.

This was my first visit to Australia, and I really wanted to explore the country as much as I could. However, I also had work to do for the university. While the re-sit period was completed when I left for Australia, I still had a project to do while I was there. The project was due about ten days into my trip, so exploring after submission was not an option due to time restraints. Which leads to the first phase of my ‘master plan’, spend the day exploring the country and doing all these touristy things.

Almost immediately after arriving in the country, I went to discover and wander through Melbourne. I was stunned, one of my first thoughts was: ‘I could genuinely see myself living here’. The city center is so modern with hints of old architecture but a short drive away you can find yourself surrounded by nature. I was able to see most things I sought out to, so this phase of the plan went quite well. I believe the only thing I wanted to do that I didn’t get a chance to was visiting Philip Island and seeing the Great Barrier Reef.

Which brings us to the second phase of my ‘master plan’. With all the places I wanted to see, a family wedding event and spending time with all my loved ones, I wasn’t sure where I would fit in time to get my work done for the university. Then I remembered there’s a roughly eight-hour window that most people use for sleep. That was something I could use! So that was phase two, spend the nights working on my project.

It was a big project, so a lot of time had to be invested into it. Out of the ten days between my arrival and the due date, I think I had to pull an all-nighter for about seven of them. At the time, I thought my efforts were futile because I had my doubts about the quality of work I could produce with such little sleep. However, the grade I received put those doubts to bed (if only it would put me to bed). Now I know that phase two was also successful.

This is where it gets a bit messy. My sleep schedule probably doesn’t seem ideal from the previous phase, but after the deadline passed, I was sleeping the necessary number of hours. I would argue that my sleep schedule was better than ever, so I didn’t want to lose that while travelling back to the Netherlands. My journey back involved an overnight in Los Angeles and a stop in Dallas, so the plan was to sleep on the flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles, and then again from Dallas to Amsterdam. With no sleep in Los Angeles, so I could sleep from Dallas onwards, which aligns with a proper sleep time in the Netherlands’ time zone. While that worked, I forgot to take into account how physically drained I would be. Which resulted in my body just crashing as soon as I got home. To make matters worse, it was also my birthday, so I was almost forced to go out a couple times that week.

It is now about two weeks since I got back, and I’ve gone back to the gym and started playing sports again. My sleep schedule needed re-fixing though. So while my ‘master plan’ didn’t pan out as I had hoped, at least it did give me a nice topic for this column!

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