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My first week living on campus

Date:17 September 2020

From parties to doing the dishes, I am going to tell you all about it!

So before I tell you my dish wash-routine, I might as well introduce myself. My name is Titia Groenhof, I am 19 years old and I'm studying Global Responsibility & Leadership at Campus Fryslân. I recently moved out of my parents house in Feanwâlden, to Kanaalstraat in Leeuwarden after working a summer in France.

My first week living on my own was a very interesting week, because it was also my introduction week to Leeuwarden! You can read all about the introduction week in the blog post from Julia. The week started off at 8PM on Monday. My brother brought me to Kanaalstraat after picking me up from the airport. He was so happy I moved out, that he even helped me carry all my heavy bags. Unfortunately he didn't stay to unpack. After he left, I was all alone in a room which I am going to stay in for a whole year! I took a few deep breaths and came to the realisation that I am expected to actually grow up now! Good thing that after a few seconds this realisation exited my head as a text in the Global Responsibility & Leadership WhatsAppgroup made a loud “DING” on my phone. It was the first years who were talking about a party! Now, I have never been a party girl so this was a real debate: should I be responsible and go to sleep early because I have a really busy week, or should I go have fun? Well, partying is a part of the student life, right? I am a student now, so let's go have fun, while keeping the corona measures in mind of course.

After changing my clothes, I had the task of figuring out where the common room was located. This is where the party was going to take place. I had absolutely no clue where it was so I texted for help and immediately there were two people ready to help me out! I got directed to the common room and here were so many new faces. Even though, at the end of it I had completely forgotten all the names, I had an amazing night with my new classmates!

Waking up Tuesday was pretty weird. I was surrounded by bags and boxes filled with all of my belongings. I had no clue what was where! Suddenly, an awareness came over me, I was completely alone. Not in a lonely way, but in a "you are responsible for yourself now" kind of way. Luckily, my parents were so kind to have done some groceries for me so I at least didn't have to deal with that in the first few days. So I got up and had some breakfast. The whole day was filled with fun introduction week activities. The last one of these was Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP). It was a lot of fun, even though I went in a kayak. It was typical Dutch weather, which means, it was overcast and raining. This meant I came home soaking wet and cold. After way too long of a struggle trying to figure out how the shower worked, I managed to shower and warm up. 

You might think by now "Uhm Titia, aren't you forgetting to eat or something?". Well I had that covered! I went back to my parents! After dinner, my father brought me back to Leeuwarden with three closets for my room. When the closets were safe - and dry - inside with some help of a friend that came by to see me, I could unpack some stuff. At least, that would have been the case if there wasn't another party going on! This time there were more people there because a bunch of parents were there. No, not the kind of parent you are thinking of. These parents are second years that were there to guide us through the introduction week. 

On Wednesday, the day started with some much needed water. After breakfast I could get ready for the day! This included piling up the dirty plates in the sink. So far living on my own was fun! But that was about to change... After another day filled with fun introduction activities I came home to an empty apartment. I sat down and came to the conclusion that this room is in need of a deep clean. I was quite overwhelmed and I must say I quite underestimated the unpacking. 

A tip to make this easier: put on some music and start with one thing at a time. One of these things was preparing dinner. Couscous salad was on the menu today. Some couscous and vegetables, what could go wrong? Well, let's say it was more a carrot salad then a couscous salad and I don't even like carrots. Oh how cooking for yourself is always so fun...

Thursday was a quiet day. The evening however was quite interesting, but I will get to that later. In the couple of days I lived on my own I realised I missed a couple of things. So I went and got a couple of these things at "de Centrale" with my father. I can tell you one major thing I realised: it is quite expensive to live on your own. After my father dropped me off, I went to the common room because our moms had something special in mind for the evening! They ordered some pizza for our group. After the pizza we went on to have a fun night with music and dancing.

Friday was pretty much the same. Activities during the day and dinner in the evening. Except this time, we went out for dinner with the whole Global Responsibility & Leadership community. This included: staff, First-, Second- and Third year students. This meant that I had to hunt down one of my pretty dresses from inside a box. I wanted to dress nice for dinner and the group picture!

Then Saturday came. Early in the morning my dad was at the door delivering some stuff I had ordered to my home. We installed the stuff together and then it was time to visit my parents house again. Back in my home town I had a couple of errands to run and clothes to wash. Being back is such a weird feeling: it feels like you're a visitor and you are at home at the same time. Luckily I still felt at home in the supermarket: I could find everything! I bought groceries for the entire next week because I thought this would help me with budgeting and meal preparation. However, this still needs some practice. After dinner I drove back to Leeuwarden. When I arrived back, we had another small get together in the common room.

On Sunday I was finally able to sleep in! There was no one who was there to wake me up so was it pretty late in the morning when I woke up. When I wanted to have breakfast, I came to the conclusion I had no clean bowls for cereal. This could only mean one thing: time to do the dishes! Another tip: don't let the dishes pile up, I was busy for an hour trying to finish them. After the dishes I figured that if I am cleaning anyway, I might as well do the whole apartment. So the vacuum and mop came out of a dusty corner together with a cloth and everything got cleaned. Then it was time for a microwave dinner and Netflix!

On the last day of the first week on campus it was time to do homework for the lectures that were about to come. One of these things included frantically ordering a book online that HAS to be delivered the next day. Another event that happened on this Monday was a meeting with everyone who lived at Kanaalstraat, the student accommodation for UCF. We talked about things that could be improved at Kanaalstraat to make it a pleasant living space for everyone.

My first week living on campus was interesting, hectic, fun and emotional. Unfortunately there was one casualty this week, my plant didn't survive the move. I came to the realisation I have so much to learn and a lot of growing up to do, but that I am in a safe and kind environment where I will never be alone in this tight community of Campus Fryslân.