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#studentstories: the road to UCF

Date:18 June 2020
Faculty building (the Beurs)
Faculty building (the Beurs)

Different students, different stories. Now studying from home, first-year student Aidan creatively reflects on the process of both him and his suitcase traveling all the way up to Leeuwarden to study Global Responsibility & Leadership.

''Throughout the years, my aspiration to become a storyteller has never abandoned me. Admittedly, I find telling my own exceptionally challenging, yet have never found myself able to resist ‘seeing the good’ in other people. 

For this reason, I never imagined myself to be schooled at a university. My brain undoubtedly holds the key to some brilliant thoughts but does not keep me from wondering if the institution ought not to have taken someone more talented under their wing instead. 

So how did my suitcase and I end up in the far north? I am an incorrigible dreamer, a firm believer of equality, and a philosopher who despite everything still holds on to an ideal world. It is those traits that define the person I am today and they also explain why taking the easy road does not suit me still. 

Life came to greet me two years ago whilst I was lying on the rug in my grandparents’ home, thinking. All would be more pleasant if I would allow myself to take a deep breath once in a while as opposed to continuously and obsessively assign myself more responsibilities in the successful semblance of the mythological Atlas who himself carried the entire Earth upon his stocky shoulders. Slowly but surely I have begun to take more action, though I solely manage to pull through at those rare occasions in which my mind, heart and gut are all aligned with the objective I have set my sights on. 

I aim to be calm and rational, though am occasionally prone to fits of impatience and jealousy. As it is, I seek and find a place that is completely empty before knocking on reality’s door and returning from whichever imaginary world I had ventured into to again fulfil the role of my usual lanky self. I remember that when I was but little, getting rid of a piece of my hard work was not an easily accomplished feat as it tended to take the smouldering fire in our living room a surprisingly lengthy amount of time to swallow it in a sea of flames. These days, au contraire, there is a very simple solution: ‘just’ - implying a dangerous casualness - throw it in the trash. This thought is one of many that inspires me to ask questions, for at the age of twenty I believe I have learned a great many lessons though none of them seems to aid me in my personal quest for enlightenment.

I do not quite seem to grasp the world in which I live and most of my time is therefore spent on either discussing the arbitrary - ‘a bird cannot bird though a bird can fly’ - or finding subtle ways to display an immensely underdeveloped defiant streak. There are times I do not feel real in terms of who I am and what I know but hold on tight to what my senses have picked up somewhere in space and time. I continue walking until I shatter and then commence with the tedious task of putting all the pieces back together. The origin of me is located in between the cracks; links between the worlds of past, present, and future.

I have never wanted to become but one thing and thus I am average - at best - at what I do. Being where I am today, I find it droll to introduce myself with the phrase ‘as an actor, I have many names, but Aid is my favourite’ although usually en Français (long story). This sentence does me justice for, though it may be short and sweet, it has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. It highlights my fear of not having a voice and therefore lacking the strength to make the world a better place, even for one person. It also shines a light on some of the ‘deeper’ questions I ponder over. Am I authentic? Are my choices the product of the society in which I was raised? How can I find the freedom that is limitless in nature? What do I want from life? 

Here, I have found a glimmer of hope; one that makes me smile whenever I think about seeing everyone again...''