How do you survive… sex and drugs
From stress, STDs, and stimulants to shockingly high student debt. A crash course in…
What an enormous campus. It takes a while, but a time will come when you’ll be able to walk in an uninterrupted straight line from the G Building to the T Building. The time will come when you no longer lose your way because the direction signs send you clean in the wrong direction. A time when you will understand that classrooms C1-2, CT-2 and so on are to be found in the Theil Building.
That’s how it starts, but it is worth the trouble to really get to know the campus. What’s the best place to meet up for a quick shag? How about the small study rooms in the G Building? Would you prefer a view? Consider the same types of rooms on the 18th floor of the Mandeville Building. Where can you get free beer and croquettes? You’ll find the Faculty Club on the 17th floor of the Tinbergen building. Meetings are regularly organised in these areas where there is a restaurant and a spectacular view. Where are the cleanest washrooms? An earlier survey revealed the washrooms in the vicinity of the Aula were the best choice. One student spilled the beans, saying: “You can spend a half hour taking a crap and no one will notice.”
Even though they may be the best years of your life, that certainly doesn’t mean it will be easy. Around 30 percent of students have an increased chance of a burnout. That’s when you have complaints associated with excessive stress, such as severe fatigue, problems concentrating and forgetfulness. This percentage is much higher among Medical students: around 50 percent.
What’s the cause? “More and more demands are being made of students,” explains the Chair of the Dutch National Union of Students. “Students are subject to a binding study advice to pass their first year, they have to complete their studies as quickly as possible, and enhance their CV during this time in order to find a job. They often also have to work in order to pay for rising costs for housing and education. All of that takes a toll.”
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to deal with this: get enough sleep, relax, a healthy diet, and physical exercise from time to time. Relaxation through immersing yourself in student life could actually help. Unless you’re an introvert who prefers watching Netflix. Then Netflix is the right relaxation activity for you. Dropping in to see a University Psychologist is also an option. They have walk-in consultation times on Tuesdays and Thursdays where you can meet with them for a ten-minute chat.
The academic work itself
You may have almost forgotten that your academic studies are a significant feature of your life as a student. Fred Paas, a professor at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, has already provided five useful tips. In his tips he explains that creating summaries is actually effective, especially if you write them by hand. He also recommends avoiding stress. Professor Liesbeth van Rossum of Erasmus MC explains just how to do that here.
This is technically a problem for after you’ve finished your studies. During your time at university, the 24th of every month is the day when money is magically deposited into your bank account. If you have a student loan, that is. And more and more students do. In 2012 almost 50 percent of students had a student loan. This past year that figure increased to 73 percent. *A moment of silence for the late student grant.*
‘Caution! Borrowing money costs money!’ It might seem like free money from DUO (the Education Executive Agency), but you have to pay it back some day, starting two years after you graduate. Almost one hundred thousand students are unable to repay their loan at this time, even though you currently have 35 years (!) to do so. What are the consequences of a student loan besides being an extra monthly expense? It might seem a long way off, but a student loan debt can affect your chances of getting a mortgage. ‘Borrowing large to live large’ applies almost exclusively to your time as a university student.