The weeks after midsummer

Midsummer in Sweden is not only an important holiday, marking the longest day of the year; it is also the time of the year when life start to slow down. This is especially obvious when it comes to university life. The number of students decreases dramatically, the few campus restaurants gradually close, fewer and fewer people are at work and more and more offices remain empty. Each year geese take over all the green spaces where just a few days ago, students had celebrated the end of the term.

The weeks after midsummer are when most people in Sweden take their holidays, hoping for a nice summer with loads of sunshine and warm temperatures. Too often, however, the summer does not turn out as wished. Temperatures around 15-20 degrees C, rain and wind are a more normal Swedish summer than high temperatures and continuous sunshine. But – it does happen – we do experience gorgeous warm summers with little rain!

The weeks after midsummer and until mid August are special and are probably the quietest time of the year on campus; a perfect time to focus on research, and on all the unfinished work that had been piling up during the term. Time to read articles and to write manuscripts, and maybe prepare for the upcoming autumn term. Or time to relax, meet family and friends, go for long walks, take a sailing trip in the beautiful archipelago or pick mushrooms in the surrounding forests.

But for some the weeks after midsummer are still pretty busy. Stockholm University runs for example a few summer courses, mostly aimed at exchange students. And I know of several PhD students who will defend their work in autumn and who will need to work through the summer to get their thesis ready!

I wish all of you a really nice, relaxing and productive summer! Winter is not very far away!

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