It’s day four of Eureka Week and at around 2.00 p.m. the fence around the PAC grounds is by now almost crammed full of bicycles. The sun is shining, the scent of sun cream is lingering in the air and music is thundering in everyone’s ears.

Some students are lying around on cushions, or snoring away their hangovers in the shade. Others are harassing each other with water pistols and a flexible lady is hanging upside down twisting around a pole in the middle of the PAC grounds, while admirers view the scene from a distance. There are student associations, young political parties and food trucks with queues of hungry – and probably broke – students craving a bite to eat. And if you’re feeling too hot you can cool off at the Skihut stage, where Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas can be heard through the speakers while snow machines create snowflakes that float gently to the ground. All of this is only possible on the VERY LAST day of Eureka Week 2016,so it’s high time to ask the first-years: what did you think of it? What was the high point and … what was the low point?

Mahima Kathuria (18), International Business Administration

Image credit: Levien Willemse

Mahima comes from New Delhi and at first doubted whether to visit Eureka Week. “I didn’t know whether there would be enough international students there to hang around with, but luckily there were.” Her absolute high point – apart from the weather – was on the fourth day when she went sailing on the Kralingse Plas with her group. “But the pub crawl yesterday evening was great too,” said Mahima. “If I had to mention a low point, then for me it was the food. The Dutch like eating bread and jam and potatoes! I’ve only had potatoes and hardly any other vegetables!”

Julian Smulders (18), Business Economics

Image credit: Levien Willemse

“I thought Eureka Week was great and I’ve met loads of new people,” said Julian. “It’s a great way to find out what you like and to discover associations. Of all the associations, NSR appealed to me most, but I’ve not registered yet. I first want to find out how much work is involved in my study and whether I can combine that with all of the association’s social activities.” Julian’s high point was the cantus on Tuesday evening. “That was great because you could see the group becoming closer.” He’s not sure how many beers he’s had, “but certainly more than ten, in any case enough to start talking to all my co-passengers on the train home,” he concluded, smiling.

Kyara Scheuer (18), Medicine

Image credit: Levien Willemse

Kyara has been dreading going to study. “My parents offered to pay for Eureka Week in the hope that I’d become more enthusiastic.” She prefers not to say whether it worked, but all in all she thought the week was ‘fine’. “I did register at RSG because I’d heard that they organise galas; I make my own clothing and dresses, so when I heard that I couldn’t refuse.” Kyara’s high point was also her low point: “Over the past four nights I’ve had a total of around six hours sleep. On the one hand that’s my low point, but I think the fact that I’m still alive on so little sleep is also a high point.”

Kars-Jan Giesen (18), University College

Image credit: Levien Willemse

“This week was fucking great! All the parties, all the associations; it was all great,” said Kars-Jan. He had no doubts about buying a ticket: “you’re only a first-year once”. His absolute high point was the ‘international party’ on Wednesday evening, where he met fantastic people. The low point was the following night: “My phone broke yesterday and I couldn’t find anyone in my group. After the international party I went along to Laurentius, RSG and RSC, but couldn’t find anyone. At a certain point I got lost and because I didn’t know what to do I decided to sleep in a bus shelter at around 4.00 a.m. until the first bus. A lovely Rotterdam lady eventually took me to the metro and showed me where to go. My phone’s still broken, but I now have three phone numbers written on my arm in case the same thing happens this evening.”