Solina Liliane Diallo (22) is a second-year BSc student of International Development. She’s just had lunch at Forum and she’s catching up on her to-do list for Wageningen Student Farm.
Recently a bunch of new people have joined Wageningen Student Farm (WSF), a communal vegetable garden at the far southwest end of campus, near Dijkgraaf. Solina: ‘I need to make sure they’re on the database. As secretary, I also do the newsletters, which is the most fun part, because I get to make a lot of bad jokes!’
By Thursday evening, Solina is usually pretty tired from all the lectures and projects during the week. ‘But then I usually feel that life is good again, having worked outdoors for a bit during our working sessions on the farm. It sounds like a very obvious thing, but I learnt that being out in the open air could actually do me loads of good. Now, when I’m stressed I just go outside for a walk in nature. Before I started working on the student farm, I didn’t use to go out into nature often. I probably would’ve crashed on the couch and watched YouTube or something instead.’
When she started working for WSF, organizing stuff wasn’t really Solina’s thing. ‘I’m quite a messy person. When I came to WUR a year and a half ago, most of the WSF board had moved on, so they were really looking for people. I also got on really well with the former secretary: she’s a bit like me and she thought I could be a good fit. Working for a committee is a nice way to learn how to become more systematic, because I have to.’
Compared to other student organizations, WSF is not that big, Solina explains. ‘Everyone more or less knows each other so it’s not so bad if I occasionally slip up. It is nice to have a safe place to make mistakes and learn! Sometimes you just have to throw yourself in at the deep end and see what happens.’