talk of “next season” begins the moment you arrive on the ice. the contract cycles are arranged in such a way that you never arrive to an empty base, so new folks are always thrown in with the old (who are already thinking of next season).
next season is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. things will be different next season: you’ll have a better job, you’ll have a better room, you’ll remember to bring that thing you forgot, you’ll hike more, you’ll have more friends, et cetera. everything will be perfect. that’s not to say that the talk is delusional; in fact, if someone does come back, the chances of the above mentioned coming true is actually pretty high.
i know that i personally started thinking of next season after only a few weeks, and not because i was unhappy or disappointed with my experience. it was the exact opposite: i was so happy that i couldn’t wait to come back; i couldn’t wait to go through all of it again. i still feel that way (after almost 2 months), and i’m about 95% sure that i’ll be back again next season.