Frederique Moerman (19) has known that she wanted to study medicine since towards the end of primary school. “Last year, I went to a few open days for other study programmes because I felt it would be useful to have an alternative if I didn’t get in.”

However, the gymnasium student didn’t need a plan B and started her dream studies in September. It was a bit of a shock to the system when she got a 5.5 and a 5.6 after the first block. Frederique: “I was used to getting pretty good grades, without really having to do my best.” Since then, she’s been working much harder, and with better results, she tells me in the metro on the way to Schiedam. “I used to want to be a neurologist, but there are now more specialisations I find interesting, like paediatrics or cardiology. But some things are really dull, like kidneys, which we’ve just completed a six week block on.”

Noticeboard and markers


Besides her demanding studies, Frederique plays hockey in the first team of Hockey Club Rotterdam (HCR). “A game every Sunday and three training sessions a week. In itself, it doesn’t take up much time, but with everything else involved, it’s easily three and a half hours each time.” Fortunately, she passed her driving test two years ago, so she has her own transport. “But tonight a friend who usually gets a lift with me is picking me up for the first time. She’s just turned eighteen.”

Despite her busy weekly programme, Frederique seems to have everything under control. “At first, I kept a timetable with a noticeboard and markers, to organise everything. I’m always free on Monday evenings and Saturdays, so I can do my homework then.”

She doesn’t have time for men at the moment. “During my studies, I don’t meet many nice lads.” And at the hockey club? Giggling: “Yes, there are some there.”

Promotion to top division

Next year, she plans to look for a house in Rotterdam with a hockey friend. “Preferably something near Erasmus MC.” Now it’s often touch and go whether the metro connects with the bus, which only runs once every half an hour.

She doesn’t do much in Schiedam any more. “If I meet friends for a drink, we pretty much always go to Rotterdam.” She’s been playing hockey with HCR since the age of twelve. “Since then, the manager of my old club in Schiedam has asked my mother every year when I’m coming back.” Frederique doesn’t think that will happen any time soon. “I hope that we’ll be promoted to the top division next season and that I can continue playing in the first team. Although I realise that I’ve chosen one of the busiest and most difficult studies.”

From the bus, which we only just manage to catch, it’s just a five minute walk to the Moerman family home. Today she won’t be doing any more work. “When I’ve been to a lecture and have to train in the evening, I feel I’ve done enough.”