News - August 13, 2015

Salad days

Stijn van Gils

Some say student life revolves around beer and sex. Nonsense. All memories are a selective version of reality.

I can safely say that I saw more rotten cucumbers than naked girls during my salad days. Not that there were a lot of vegetables in our student house. But, in contrast with naked girls, I have remarkably few memories of rotten cucumbers. Actually I can only recall one example. That cucumber looked alright until you picked it up. Then it turned out to be a kind of water balloon. One that could burst at any moment, with a fresh green skin. It might have been a courgette, come to think of it.

When it comes to naked girls, on the other hand, I have a rich store of memories. Notwithstanding the fact that all my attempts at courtship were a dismal failure. Seriously, Wageningen’s women students are quite interested in the exciting things you can do with Excel. And in holding long discussions. But this means nothing. Once I was put off by email, preventively: ‘I don’t know how you feel about me but I just want to tell you I’m not interested in you.’ The high point was when a mate was cross with me. At last, someone who saw me as a serious threat. He would have liked to punch me really, I think. I couldn’t imagine a bigger boost for my ego.

In my memory, I just played hard to get. Half Wageningen was after me, but no one dared to ask me. That is the great thing about your student days. You are vulnerable, life is difficult, and everything is possible. But no matter how lonely and sad you get, you’ll have fabulous memories later.