Building a Life Outside the Internet


NoSurf Struggles and Escapism
So I’ve wrote about escapism on here before, and how the internet was pretty much my go to for running away from my issues and responsibilities until the last minute, and annoyingly I’ve starting to regress back into that.
Exam times are conducive to stress, and with that comes wanting to run away from it. I did quite well this exam period with keeping away from situations where I could browse online. This meant studying with a study buddy, and studying at the library (I’ve found a new favourite study spot :smile:) , but once I got home I would often be very unproductive due to giving myself the excuse of not wanting to study more after having spent the day on it.

Netflix has been a big issue with this, but thankfully still almost no reddit. I did go to check the top headlines in the political sub the last few days, so I need to stop doing that because that’s one of the primary things I wanted to avoid.

Similarly, I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible with a good friend who is going back overseas soon, so trying to balance that with everything has been difficult, and I’ve been sacrificing gym and study to spend time with her.

There is a large divide between where I was a 1 month ago and where I am now, largely due to the change in my responsibilities. I no longer have multiple assignments or the internship, instead it was just 3 exams to study for, which meant that I couldn’t just switch tasks when I was bored as there wasn’t much variety in them, and similarly I wasn’t completing multiple things in a day. i.e. before I’d spend the day at the internship, then come home and maybe do some study, and then go to the gym, whereas now I’ve just been studying during the day, and either going home and putting of going to the gym to half heartedly study, or spending time with my friend at night.
I felt more content back then, but I think I feel happier now because

I’ve got 1 last exam in a few days, and then my semester is over and I’ll have 3 months of free time :confused: so it will be difficult to stave off mindless browsing unless I’m busy.

Some people really value their free time, and I’ll get to a place like that when I’m older I’m sure, but at the moment I just really want to stay busy because I know that my free time is just wasted with useless things, and so I’d rather get things out of staying busy, then get no real enjoyment out of my free time. Figuring out what I actually enjoy is hard but worth it, but right now all I’ve got is travelling that I’m certain of.

Plan for the Break
Last year I couldn’t wait for my break to arrive, where as I really wish I could keep doing classes now haha.
I’ll be on holidays for around 3.5 weeks, broken up into intervals, which will be fun, but those are in December and February, so I need to plan around that.

In January I might take some extra classes to help get ahead a bit on my degree, so that I have spare units to complete a math minor later on without having to overload on subjects. It will also keep me busy which I’ll be looking forward to, but I need to organise that dates due to some clashing with my last holiday.

I’ve also got the task of having to start building up a data science portfolio, because apparently those are really good to have now when trying to get your first job, and it seems like the most worthwhile thing I could do at the moment to get better with my programming and also my stats and analytics skills.

I’m kind of preparing myself to not do as well as I was hoping this semester which sucks because I’ve put in more effort this semester than in any other. I’ll still do better than in the past, but I don’t think it’ll be that much better, but a big difference I’ve found is that I’ve understood the class content to a far deeper extent that before when I’d just rote learn everything before an exam and forget about it, and I think that is why I’ve enjoyed the subjects much more than usual. I’ll still probably forget this semester’s content after a few moths haha, but it’ll be easier to recollect if I ever need it again.

Things to Focus on:

  1. Study for my last exam
  2. Meditate at night
  3. Don’t watch Netflix at night
  4. Keep away mindless browsing


Wow it been over 2 weeks since my last update, and what a strange 2 weeks it has been in terms of nosurf.

So recapping I suppose, I finished my last exam; it sadly didn’t go as well as I wanted due to one very confusing question, but I’m still quite happy with how I did. I’m slightly worried about getting my results next week as not doing as well as I would have hoped is going to be quite a hit because I really did try and put more effort in this semester, but if it isn’t rewarded then it will definitely be quite discouraging.

After my last exam I ended up just binging a youtube channel and playing overwatch excessively. I pretty much gave myself a ‘fuck it’ week to do what ever I wanted, however it didn’t go that well and I very much regret it and am still trying to get back to where I was a few weeks ago. I wasted sooo many hours of youtube and gaming over the past 1.5 weeks and it does not feel good knowing that, but a lack of commitments has made it hard to stop. I haven’t played overwatch for a week now, but youtube is still an issue, largely as a result having too much free time, but in writing that I guess I’m blaming my lack of self control on my circumstances as opposed to not caring about no surf enough, and to be honest I think that nosurf was mostly driven by a need to focus on other things (primarily uni and friends), which hasn’t been a priority over the last 1.5 weeks.

I’ve spoken to my friend about doing the online programming course (probably cs50), which I’ll try and get started on next week. I’m worried that I’ll start on it and then give up quite quickly without anything more than self discipline and motivation to drive me as there want be any real punishment for giving up, unlike in university.

I ended up working a lot more though, which helped to break up my internet time and also fund my upcoming trips lol. I’ve just started the first day of my first holiday, but it hasn’t been too eventful so far as I’m still waiting for my friend to arrive.

I applied for an internship position for next year, completed a practical task as part of the process which they said I did quite well in, and went to the first interview round but sadly didn’t make it through to the final round. That was a bit of a bummer, but I’ve taken away 2 key points from that experience (be more enthusiastic about what you want to do/continue learning and try and show your experience in more detail) as the interviewers were nice enough to provide me with comments about how I went. I’ll try and put those to use in the upcoming internship application period, and also work on speaking more clearly, as I felt that was definitely an issue for me at times with technical things. I’ll try and apply for some more positions in the coming months, even if to just improve how I interview because it seems like experience/practice is what really helps with interviews.

I’ve also scheduled for a catch up with people form my old internship which I was very daunted by at first but asking actually went very well, so that is lesson for me.

I recently listened to Time by Pink Floyd, and I’m sure it has a similar effect on most people because damn those lyrics and very real haha.

"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."

I mean it captures what everyone does (and a big regret that a lot of people have), but for me I think it encapsulates that fact that I’ve wasted so much time on things which I know both in the moment and in hindsight are useless ways to pass and waste time which I’ll never get back. But I think just as importantly it is the fact that I often revert to taking a passenger seat in my life and just let it happen to me as opposed to trying to build the one I want, and I excuse this by saying I’m waiting for that inflection point in my life, some divine and destined event that will change me and make me finally change for the better and never go back. But that is never going to happen. I need to take control and treat myself as someone with agency.

I’m soon to be halfway to 21 (I’m in my twenties now, and I distinctly remember being 16 and worrying where I’ll be at 20 years old, and always using the excuse of having years until I was 20 to sort my shit out, but that never really worked out :confused:)

Bit of a rant I suppose haha, and a self righteous one which I feel like I’ve been on before, but recognising shortcomings and doing nothing to fix them is worse than having not recognised them in the first place, so not happy with myself for the last 1.5 weeks, but they shouldn’t detract from the progress I made prior to that which led to what I view as my best exam period so far and my favourite semester at uni so far.

I think not having a clear direction is the biggest hurdle at the moment, as when I have uni grades are the goal, while now I have 3 months without that and so I have to set myself some task, which will have to also fit around my travel plans.

I’ll go for a walk now to explore the city and them spend time with my friend tonight. I’ll be sure to add an update after my trip in a few days.


The holiday was amazing, my friend and I spent essentially the entire trip together, and with pretty much no internet/surfing apart from the occasional facebook message. Definitely one of my favourite trips ever!

Now that I’m back home I want to get into a healthy routine which doesn’t have me at home for too many hours in the day, as that is where I struggle the most with mindlessly browsing the internet and then feeling shitty at the end of the day when I’ve done nothing.

Tomorrow I’ll go to the library to start working on a data science project, and hopefully get coffee with my former coworker, but today I just ran some errands and spent a few hours with a friend bike riding and playing board games, and I’ll probably do some cleaning tonight.

I’ll get back into using a bullet journal as a to-do list to get stuff done, especially the small stuff.