Student - January 13, 2011

No space cake, thanks, say Wietske and Marit

Resource is following the fortunes of Wietske and Marit, two first year students of Nutrition and Health, for a year. This month's installment: temptation.

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Suddenly there is a spacecake in the communal oven at your flat. So what do you? Like any other student, Wietske and Marit have to face the temptations of the independent life. So how do they deal with it?

Living away from home means learning to deal with all sorts of temptations. Without your parents around to shield you from the lure of nightlife, alcohol and drugs, the dissolute life is always beckoning. And sometimes just when you least expect it. Wietske and Marit haven't been spared these temptations, but up to now they have withstood them resolutely.

Spacecake
'Our housemates baked a spacecake a while ago, and asked us of we wanted a piece. I didn't fancy it', says Wietske. Nor was Marit interested in getting stoned. 'It would actually be quite interesting to try something like that, but only in a situation of complete trust. I do trust my housemates alright, but I don't know their friends well enough.' Nobody tried to twist the girls' arms, although there was some indirect pressure in the form of exclusion: 'OK, then you are not allowed to stick around', was the response. Wietske and Marit didn't mind; they just went on their way.
Marit and Wietske have not come into contact with drugs on their nights out. 'No, you never hear anything about that', says Wietske. 'My sister went to college in Eindhoven and she said that people were dealing in drugs on the streets there. And at my secondary school people were trying out all sorts of things: GHB, mushrooms, and it was talked about at school. There must be stuff going on here too, but I don't see it at all.'

Taken off the beer list
No, these ladies certainly haven't gone off the rails. Wietske calls her mother almost every day and Marit tells her parents about anything important that happens. Such as: choosing a health insurance. One of their biggest transgressions so far was to skip a late lecture. 'In the house we've even been taken off the beer list because we didn't drink enough', says Wietske. 'I dont mind a bit; I don't like beer at all.'
But when they go out, the girls like a few drinks. 'But I never get more than tipsy, you know', Marit assures me. 'I do want to be able to remember where I have been.' Sometimes she thinks afterwards that she might have been 'a bit too happy'. But she has never had any regrets. 'That's not too bad, is it?' Wietske - who says she is always happy - does oversleep sometimes the morning after a night out.

Drinking every day
'Are any fellow students going off the rails?' Wietske shakes her head. 'But actually, I wouldn't know. There are so many first years doing Nutrition and Health that I keep seeing new faces in the lecture room.' In her own project group at least, there is no one who is taking things to extremes and spending every evening in the pub. Marit thinks the same. 'During the last period I was in a group with just boys, and they were no different. In fact I think the girls among us drink more.' Even in their student residence, Wietske and Marit do not come across any notorious drinkers or other dissolute types. Wietske: 'We do have someone in our house who was drinking every day, but that suddenly got better recently.'

For the rest
And for the rest... everything is going just fine. Wietske is going to enjoy a short skiing holiday with her boyfriend. 'And anyway it is very nice to be at home. It is always cosy - and there is a dishwasher.' So the ladies were happy that exams in Wageningen are always before Christmas and not after it, as in many other Dutch universities. And they like the new period better than the last one. 'Nutrition was nice, but cell biology was very tough. Now we have human physiology: dissecting piglets and things like that.'

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