The move from high school to university usually means a new way of life. Resource asked our student bloggers to think back to their introduction period in Wageningen. Want to read more by these bloggers? Visit our site regularly: www.resource-online.nl
Rrom left on: Camilla, Jan-Willem, Mary and Romy
Good impressionOn my first day at Wageningen University, I wanted to make a good first impression on my peers and professors. Therefore I spent a long time choosing my clothes. As I nervously paced across the campus in my high-heeled sandals and ruby pink trousers, however, I soon discovered I stood out in a curious way. A pair of muddy hiking boots would have been a better guess at the Wageningen dress code.
I come from Italy, where people place special emphasis on style. Therefore, I used to put a lot of thought into my outfits. My first encounter with people from the Netherlands seemed to reveal a similar attitude to clothing. It was in Maastricht, where I first visited the university. Students there really knew how to dress themselves. How different it turned out to be in Wageningen. Here people attend their lessons in lumberjack outfits and always look as if they’re ready to go and milk cows. They also show up in their jogging trousers, their squash trousers… sometimes with no trousers. A special mention for that Chinese girl in silver moon boots and white leggings: you rule.
Eventually I gave up my city pretences, and happily so. Here I discovered the beauty of not judging people by their clothes and I started to change my wardrobe. I still feel I am more properly dressed then most students, but the last time I was home, my mother checked me out and asked: ‘… You aren’t going to milk cows, are you?’ Camilla Ponte
Second life‘Welcome to Wageningen,’ was the enthusiastic message at my first lecture in 2010. I seemed to feel at home right from the start, because I remember my first weeks in Wageningen as a breath of fresh air. I had just had a failure of a year doing Veterinary Science at Utrecht, and I was pretty fed up with student life. So I was embarking on a degree in Agrotechnology with mixed feelings, not sure whether I was any more suited to this project.
On your first day of classes, you effectively embark on a second life (or in my case, a third one). When I got off the bus and walked onto the campus, I realized that Wageningen would shape my life for the next few years. I would come to love this university, but I would also hate the place when I once again failed an exam after a week of hard revision. But I haven’t had a moment’s regret about my four years in Wageningen. You get swept up in the ‘we feeling’ you find here.
During the first few weeks I took Wageningen into my heart and I made a lot of new friends. I also quickly learned that your student days are a time when you enjoy your freedom (at home they call it responsibility) and your independence to the hilt. This second life is a bit like the start of a new calendar year, when all your new plans and resolutions are in reach! Jan-Willem Kortlever
Robotic lifeIt was almost a year ago that I left Nepal and dived into this strange first world country, a place that many people from the third world dream of. While I felt the pain to leave my family, I soon got acquainted to the way of living here in Wageningen.
My academic life wasn’t easy however. Studying took me about ten hours a day on weekdays, after which I was usually exhausted. Thus days went by, I was working hard, but I didn’t see any friends at all. My life had turned into a ‘robotic’ routine.
Gradually however I got to know my international coursemates and other students from the Nepalese community. Together we fought the boredom: laughing and looking for happiness in even the smallest events. Counting on each other in both good and bad times.
As I studied, had fun with my friends and travelled around, I realized an important thing. This robotic life I met here in the West is actually the reason why it is a ‘first world’. Living for yourself and planning your life around a tight schedule apparently leads to material prosperity. But is that what I want?
A lot has changed over the last eleven months, and at the same time I have returned to the point from where I came. Although I adapted a Western lifestyle, my primary motive has been, and will always be, that whatever I do, I do it for my family and their happiness. So in a way, traveling to Holland has helped me to keep me grounded to my origin. Mary Shrestha
To join or not to joinWelcome to your student days, the most awesome time of your life. Believe me, if you really take the plunge and make sure you don’t miss a single party, lecture, job or other opportunity, your first year will be just the sort of rollercoaster of experiences and emotions that mine was.
But now, during your AID, the main question on your mind is: should I or shouldn’t I join a student society? One thing is crystal clear: the answer to that question will affect you for the rest of your (student) days. Whether or not you join a society will determine what your diary looks like for the next few years, where you make friends, and perhaps even where you meet your future partner. No small matter, then. Make no mistake about it, the societies pull out all the stops during the AID to make a good impression and recruit as many new members as they can. And no, during the AID you do not get a realistic picture of what a society is like. But know in any case that besides the big traditional societies (Ceres, KSV and SSR), there are also the sports club (Argo), the denominational clubs (four of them) and the alternative club (Unitas). Or you could opt not to join any of them, in which case there is always your study association. Whether and what you join is ultimately your own decision. I can only advise one thing: whatever you choose, go for it and make sure you don’t miss anything. Because take it from an old sixth-year like me, your student days are over before you know it. Romy Appelman