Student - January 26, 2017

YOU on campus (5)

Annie Berendsen

Brit van der Meijden is a first-year BSc student of International Land and Water Management. She is a member of Ceres student society, and probably one of the youngest students in Wageningen.

Brit is 17 years old, and her birthday is not until June. No doubt there are other 17-year-old students, ‘but I haven’t met anyone yet who is younger than me’. In spite of the age difference between her and her fellow students, Brit does not feel any younger than the others. ‘I’ve always socialized with people older than me, actually.’ She skipped grade 5 in primary school because all her friends were in the class above even then. And she did not opt to take a gap year. ‘I was really keen to go to university, and being 17 poses problems when you take a gap year as well.’

The biggest difference it makes to being a student, according to Brit, is that by law you are not allowed to drink yet at 17. There are some misunderstandings about that: ‘People are quick to think that I can’t be enjoying myself, but that’s not true at all.’ Brit very much wanted to live in a Ceres student house, ‘but that was problematic at first because people were afraid it would cramp their style to have a 17-year-old in the house.’ Meanwhile Brit has found a place in a Ceres house, where she says she feel completely at home.

In spite of the age difference, Bit did choose to join Ceres this year. Because of her age, during the AID she took a long time to decide whether to join a society, but she felt at home right away at Ceres. ‘I thought it would be very nice to get to know people this way, and I felt at home here because of the people and the building.’ Everyone here knows Brit is not allowed to drink. ‘Outside the society I hardly think about it, because people are not aware of it, but at Ceres they do know about it.’