Arnold Bregt, Dean of Education and professor, remembers his own AID as if it were yesterday. ‘That introduction marks a new phase in your life,’ he says. We asked Arnold about his memories, his tips for getting through the first year and extracurricular activities.
text Willem Andrée
‘In 1977, I rode my Puch moped to Wageningen for my first year at university. With a tent on the back, as I hadn’t yet found a room to rent. I put my tent up in the Bongerd and dived into the AID week. I slept in that tent for three weeks.
I advise you to take part in everything without stressing. AID is intensive and informative. You get to know people who will play an important role in this phase of your life. It is a time of changes, but don’t worry too much about that now.
After the AID week is the time to figure out how you will tackle your studies. There are all kinds of different approaches and you need to decide on your own study path. Of course you can discuss this with the lecturers but, unlike in secondary school, they won’t tell what to do. Take a good look at your character. Are you inclined to put things off? That might not be such a good idea now.
It’s also important to have a hobby in addition to your degree study: sport, music, acting or something else creative. It puts things into perspective and shows you there’s more to the world than just our campus. And it makes your university days richer. You can make life hard for yourself and obsess about CV building with an eye to the future but I can tell you from experience that it’s pretty pointless. I never thought I would have the job I have now. So allow yourself the freedom to enjoy your student days. If you do things you like and find interesting, you will automatically be building for your future.
If everything goes well, over the next five years you will become a university-educated professional who helps find sustainable solutions for current and future complex problems all over the world in the domains of healthy food and a healthy living environment. Someone who takes their social and ethical responsibility seriously. To get you there, Wageningen offers you an enriching learning environment with many options, culminating in a thesis at the end of your Master’s. But that’s a long way off; first you have AID week. I wish everyone a wonderful time! Welcome to Wageningen.’
Arnold Brengt graduated with a degree in Soil and Fertilization Sciences in 1983. He became Dean of Education in 2017. He also still works one day a week as professor of Geo-information Science in his chair group. ‘I still supervise PhD candidates, which I find important.’