After months of forgetting about university almost entirely, being back has been hard for Donatella Gasparro. The new time schedule didn't help, but apple juice remains did.
© Sven Menschel
My first week back to Wageningen life ended with a big pot overflowing with apple juice remains standing tall on the counter of our kitchen. And we didn’t even make any juice.
Droevendaal life is what it is: random. Randomly beautiful. A few inspired guys built a press for making fruit juice and decided to make apple juice for everybody. They went door to door collecting apples which everyone had collected from the generous trees scattered throughout Droevendaal’s gardens and made the magic happen on a casual Saturday.
Of course, food waste is not an option: whoever contributed with apples got to deal with the remains from the juicing process, too. A few minutes after discovering the big pot in our kitchen, the neighbours came in to bake apple-remains cookies in our oven. Imagine how many of us are now being creative to figure out how to use these edible funky treasures! My best Southern-Italian-grandma idea was deep-frying them after coating them with bread crumbles.
In any case, I found this to be a happy ending of a quite troubled firstweek worth sharing.
But let’s go back to the start. After two months of forgetting about university almost entirely, being back has been hard. I was swimming in blue waters among shiny shoals just a few hours before I got thrown into a lecture hall at 8:20. And the new time schedule didn’t help – at all. What did you say? You think so too? I know. Just to clarify for people who started this September: last year, we had lunchbreaks. Like, proper ones. And teachers knew when to give people a break, you know. This kind of things. Anyways.
I have to confess: the first three days were tough. All the friends who met with me have heard me complain. (Sorry guys; I’m good now.) But eventually, the first week came to pass, rhythms started to settle, and the warmth of people managed to make this journey here as beautiful as it can be once again. It has been a full week, not only of things to do or accomplish, but also of hugs, amazing potlucks, reencounters, exciting updates and stories from exotic destinations. And lots of apples, of course, which made everything sweeter. Eventually, I started week 2 with a general feeling of being in the right place.
In Italian we say: il peggio è passato, the worst is over. A message to me and all the overwhelmed just-got-back or just-got-here fellows: It’s going to get better. The shock has come, adaptation has started, minds switch-on buttons have been pressed. It’s time to enjoy the ride.
P.S. Long live the weekend. Such a marvellous invention.