I’ve already written a bit about myself already which can be found in the About section of my blog (obviously..) but hello there! My name is Hope, I’m 19 years old and in 2 months time I’m moving from the UK to the Netherlands to start my 3 year university course. I’m going to be studying International Relations.
I actually never intended to go to university abroad. For my whole life I was certain that I was going to go to a university in the UK to study Arabic. But last year, my results weren’t good enough to get in to the universities I wanted, so I had to reconsider what I was going to do next. I was left with the decision to either retake the subject I did less well in, or I had to think about other options. Either way, Arabic was the one subject I wanted to do and I knew that for certain. For a long time, I tried to study and retake that subject I didn’t do well in but somewhere down the line I had this feeling in my gut that I just wasn’t up for it, that deep down I didn’t want to pass this exam to go to university in the UK. You would think that if you felt that way, I would have done things differently all along but I guess it was something I failed to acknowledge for a long time. It’s hard to explain. So after researching lots of options, and finding out about universities in the Netherlands through online research and word of mouth, I found a great university with the perfect course for me, and of course, Arabic. Even though it’s been a weird and scary time in my life, as people on a gap year without an unconditional offer know all too well, I’m relieved that I managed to place myself on the right track again after feeling like I was on the wrong one for so long. It’s funny how life works like that sometimes. It’s like that saying goes: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
So how do I feel with two months to go until I start my course, or at least Fresher’s Week in August? Well, I feel pretty damn nervous to be honest. The thought of going abroad unnerves me because it’s the kind of thing that’s outside of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I have to remind myself that actually the Netherlands is pretty close to the UK and it’s not that far at all. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to come from outside of Europe. Secondly, I’m nervous because the Dutch seemed to be so laid back: I haven’t heard anything about whether I got in to the university housing or not and I’m agitated at the thought of having to find last-minute accommodation just before my course begins. Finally, I’m nervous because I have hardly any idea about how to even live on my own, pathetic as it sounds. I’ve never had to worry about all that practical stuff that comes hand-in-hand with independence. I feel like I’m going to be thrown in at the deep end before I can even swim and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that. And budgeting is hard enough in pounds, how the hell am I supposed to keep track when I’m paying in euros? It’s crazy. It’s stuff like that I don’t feel prepared for in any way…
That’s why I decided to create this blog: to share my hopes and fears, trials and tribulations with you lovely people. Sure, there are many articles about student life in online newspapers and magazines but I thought it would be kinda cool to write a blog about all aspects of university life (social, academic, practical, financial) so that anyone who is even slightly interested in going to a Dutch uni could have a real student insight in to the whole experience. I also thought it would be kinda cool to blog in general. These are going to be the years when we transform the most, and I thought it would be an interesting experiment to capture that via my blog. I am positive that I’m going to have a lot of embarrassing stories to tell, and through those embarrassing times, I’m sure I’m going to grow in ways I couldn’t even possibly imagine. I’m not going to be the same person I am 3 years on from now. None of us are. We’re all going to change. I want to capture that. I want to capture my personal growth from a frizzy-haired socially awkward teenage girl in to an aspiring, confident young adult.
I really hope you enjoy reading my posts and I’ll be sure to update it as much as I can. Even though I haven’t started uni yet, I’m going to write a few posts about what to pack before university (and when I get there, what I regrettably forgot…) and what a terrible idea it is to pack last-minute as I’m only going to have one week to do that when I get back from my holidays… Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading =)