Marit and Wietske: two of the roughly one thousand first years starting at Wageningen this week. Resource will be taking a look at their new life every four weeks.
Both come from small villages and both were undecided for a long time about what to study.
Marit is pleased with her new home. The atmosphere is friendly and everyone has always got time for a chat. On top of that, she was really dreading having to travel four hours there and back every day from Aalten. She was surprised she managed to get a room at all. An incredibly lively hospitality evening ended with her coming second, just behind Wietske. 'You would have fitted really well in our house', said the other students when they turned her down, 'we'll ring you if another room becomes available'. And sure enough, a room did become available just before the start of the new academic year. Wietske was luckier. She hit the jackpot with her very first hospitality evening. And she had gone to the house not expecting anything - she was one of twelve candidates. 'I just wanted to see exactly how those hospitality evenings worked.'
Not obstetrics after all
Wietske and Marit may not have known each other but they have a lot in common. Both come from villages, both were undecided about what to study and both eventually chose Nutrition and Health. Wietske was considering obstetrics in Maastricht right up to the last minute and Marit too had been wondering about studying something to do with healthcare. In the end, the deciding factors were the breadth of the study and the greater job opportunities. Both women are now fully convinced they made the right choice.
That choice was based entirely on the course. They didn't have high expectations of Wageningen. Wietske thought Wageningen would be a dumb farming town and Marit's sister teased her by asking if you could actually shop in Wageningen. The AID got rid of these preconceptions entirely, although Marit would still prefer to go to a 'proper town' to buy clothes.
The two are pleased to be rid of school finally - 'all that childish stuff' - but they will miss their friends. Marit longs secretly for her group of friends, who are now studying all over the Netherlands. Her best friend stayed behind in Aalten, and she hopes that friendship will stay as strong as ever. Wietske has even had to leave her boyfriend Jan behind. He is going to study Crime Sciences at the University of Twente. Soon they will only see each other in the weekend, but Wietske has to play football then as well.
They will be building up their social life in Wageningen independently. They don't need the help of a student society. 'My sister joined one in Eindhoven but she found it a real disappointment.' Marit was wondering about KSV but she thought SSR looked good too and so she decided not to choose any of them. 'A week isn't nearly long enough to find out what those societies are really like.'
There have not been any negative experiences in their brief time in Wageningen so far. 'I'm sure that will happen', says Wietske. After a pause for thought, Marit does come up with one negative. 'A student in my house had music playing while I was getting my room in order.' She thought it would be going too far to say something. 'We hardly know each other and, well, I wasn't that bothered by it really, it's just that sound carries in this house', she says apologetically. 'Anyway, that was in the holiday period, I'm sure he won't do it during term time.'
Marit and Wietske will be returning in Resource #4 (7 October 2010)
Who: Marit Navis.
From:Near Aalten in the Achterhoek region.
High point: The drinking songs, although she can't explain why to her friends.
All right after all: People in her student house always have time for a chat... even at four thirty a.m.
Not looking forward to: The long days studying. Marit hopes she doesn't get too much homework because she is also taking driving lessons and has to work on Saturday to pay for her degree course as well.
Who: Wietske van Haalen.
From: Winssen, west of Nijmegen
High point: The Ceres foam party during the AID.
All right after all: Wietske was worried about Wageningen's knit-your-own-yoghurt image, but that fear turned out to be unjustified.
Not looking forward to: ' No idea, but I'm sure I'll find out.'