I can’t believe I’ve been in the Netherlands for almost a month now! The time has flown by so quickly, and after all my preparation such as organising my room and buying things that are necessary for studying/living here, my lectures begin on Monday. It’s crazy!
I thought I would dedicate to this blog to the 5 “challenges” I’m facing right now. They’re not really challenges as such, hence the inverted commas, but they are nevertheless things that I didn’t prepare myself for and things that I’m struggling with on my own, and maybe my blog post would help others out there too.
This is the most obvious and universal student struggle, I believe, but it’s absolutely true! Budgeting is incredibly hard! I am being lenient this month because there has been so much to buy/stock up on that there is no way I could put myself under the pressure of budgeting this month. Nevertheless, I do feel concerned because my flatmates seem to be disinterested in making plans together to buy food and they also don’t want to buy things we need such as an iron or ironing board which is essential, so I feel like I’m having to invest the extra money which is unfair to me. I know it’s only month one, but soon we’re going to be so busy with our studies that buying an iron and ironing board is the last thing any of us need! I guess my plan for now is to see what things I usually eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and work from there, judging what I need to buy in the week. I’m also tempted just to buy the iron and ironing board and keep it after we all move out. I’m also looking out for discount/bonus cards, for example I received my Albert Heijn card yesterday, so hopefully I receive some discounts on that!
It seems to me that no matter how much I clean and tidy up, my room becomes instantly messy again! It’s literally crazy as I’m not even that busy at the moment. It’s also quite difficult at the moment because I feel like I’m the only person in the house that really looks after the place, washing up, cleaning the surfaces etc. and I don’t know how to approach my flat mates about it. One of my flatmates really intimidates me! She’s quite popular, typical beautiful blonde who in my opinion hangs out with the wrong crowd, so she’s always out with friends, but then that leaves me to not only tidy up my mess, but hers as well. I’m not sure how to stand up and confront her about it because I don’t want to seem too rigid about it so early on in the year, I just think that it’s unjust that I’m the one to be doing all these things on my own. I think when the semester starts, I’m going to stop being so timid and try to address the issues. I really dislike studying in such a crowded, messy environment.
I have been trying really hard to look out for some nice girlfriends, because I haven’t had many in the last year or so and it’s always nice to have a good girlfriend to fall back on. But, for some reason, I always seem to be hanging out with guys and becoming good friends with them instead. I think the girls in my year really intimidate me because many of them smoke, drink, have had relationships etc, in some ways coming across as mini adults which I’m sure is just an appearance, but it still makes me feel like I wouldn’t be accepted because I have more of a “good girl” image than a “bad girl” image. I prefer the good-humoured banter that guys have, and the lack of judgement from guys in a sense. But sometimes I think that my perception of girls judging me is false, and that I’m just imagining that scenario out of fear, but sometimes I honestly think they do. Girls are complicated! It always seems they have an agenda in a certain sense…
4. Alwaaaaays feeling hungry
A lot of people have told me that they feel this too, but I seem to be always, incessantly, continually hungry. I call it the ‘Dutch Power Down Syndrome’, power down being associated with video games and the need for a “power up”, but I have never had such an appetite in my whole entire life, even living at home with my grandparents which I think says a lot! I have to have big breakfasts, usually baked beans on toast, otherwise I’ll get hungry straight away which is quite embarrassing as my stomach growls really loudly and it’s just so awkward when I’m out with other people. I think it’s because I exercise a lot more here than I do generally, and it probably sounds ridiculous, but being in proximity with the sea and the sea air does make you more tired and more hungry! I’m probably completely wrong about this, so someone correct me.
5. Feeling alone sometimes
It’s been great here, and I have made some friends, but I know I haven’t met any of my “crew” yet. That would be impossible in the first month! But sometimes I feel jealous of people who are so outgoing with everyone, and charm anyone and everyone. I don’t know how they do it! I wonder if it’s my reservedness that puts people off, which I’m sure it is, but it’s hard to put yourself out there all the time! I don’t know how people retain the energy to keep it up the whole time, it’s exhausting! I think this says a lot about my social life… XD but I prefer having a few close friends than a whole gang of people. Still, I just hope I find a few close buddies soon :3
Thanks for reading, if anyone has a few words of wisdom or advice to share, that would be really appreciated 🙂 :3