LIGHT IN DARK TIMES Students have been looking for alternative ways to spend their time during load shedding. Photo: Uyanda Tyusha

The Brighter Side of a Dark Situation

By Buhle Bam

Although the app EskomSePush keeps people updated on when their specific areas will be blessed with power outages, load shedding never ceases to catch people off guard. 

Many students still shriek as it occurs whilst sitting in places like the library, but business continues as usual soon after the generators kick in. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to generators, and they are left at the mercy of their creativity—when life gives you load shedding, why not make it fun? 

To help students do this, Die Matie decided to come up with a list of activities to try when Eskom strikes again.

Phone family

Caylin Binnekade, first-year BSc (Sport Science) student, takes full advantage of her time to catch up with a loved one. 

“[I] call my mother, which I don’t always do. She was very happy, but she was like, ‘You have load shedding don’t you? Because you have been talking for quite a while’.” 

Her other ways of dealing with the dark include sleeping, reading, or drawing.

Prepare

Students like Elsabé Beyers, a BA Hons (Ancient Cultures) student, chooses to be ­productive. 

“For me, my thesis that I am currently doing has a lot of films and stuff that I am using. I am doing it on the parallels of contemporary Japanese animation and of its metamorphosis for the ancient studies department. So usually what I would do is I’ll try and download the series that I am using as my case studies. Usually what I’ll do is watch those series . . . and make notes.” 

The stars’ time to shine

During load shedding on and around campus, the light in Stellenbosch dims, which is what makes it the perfect opportunity to go stargazing. All one must do is look up. 

A fun challenge would be to learn the constellations. Not only are the stars more visible during power outages, but planets like Venus can be seen with the naked eye. 

Mindfulness exercises 

Instead of worrying about academic work that has to be ­completed when the power comes back on, one can focus on the present moment as a great alternative. Although they are the most widely known, mindfulness exercises are not just limited to mindful breathing and mindful appreciation. 

With a little research, students can easily find extensive lists of other activities to try.

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