“I do feel embarrassed,” Mitchell frankly admits. “Particularly when my friends ask me, ‘Did you really quit again?’” You see, a year ago, Mitchell dropped out of his Law degree. At the time, he quickly learned how to stick up for himself, particularly since it was obvious to everyone that quitting was in fact the right decision. However, the International Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Economics (IBEB) on which he embarked a year later turned out to be a mistake, as well.“My mother said she barely recognised me. I was working so hard I was seeing far less of my friends.” This being the case, his mother fully supports his decision to quit. As for Mitchell, he hasn’t actually felt all that bad since he dropped out of his degree programme. “I think this degree was simply too hard for me. I was working hard, but you couldn’t tell from my marks.” He thinks it’s better this way, and he certainly looks the part. He actually looks relaxed – something he hasn’t done much in recent months.

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“Did you hear about The IBEB Drama?” Mitchell then asks me. You can actually hear the capitals when he enunciates the words. He scored well in the practice exams for the Economics subject, receiving nines out of ten. “And guess what I scored on the actual exam? A 1.8. The average mark was ridiculously low: a 3.8. A friend of mine actually scored a 1.”

Even so, Mitchell did not consider quitting at that point. In mid-January he flew to Cuba for a trip, and he spent the 15-hour journey home studying. It wasn’t until the end of January, when he spoke with his counsellor, that he realised that quitting might be an option. “I wasn’t advised to quit during that conversation. Perhaps I might even have successfully completed the year. But I’d had enough. I have friends from Moldavia and Algeria who’d like to quit, as well, but they’re only finishing the year so as not to be drafted into the army.”

So now what? Doing nothing is not Mitchell’s cup of tea; even playing video games on his PlayStation starts boring him quickly. And he doesn’t just want to work until the start of the next academic year, either. “I actually have the freedom to go travelling now. I won’t once I start working full time.” Mitchell hopes Mauritius will be his next destination. He has also decided on his next degree attempt: Communications and Marketing. He’s even gone so far as to organise a work placement for that degree. He’ll do his placement at the Trefpunt Event Centre in Maasland.

Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

The company is not far from the house in Naaldwijk that Mitchell moved into a few months ago, along with his mother and younger brother, after having spent all of his previous life in ’s-Gravenzande. The best thing about the new house is the basketball court just behind it. This is where Mitchell’s team gets together to play basketball twice a week after the end of the indoor season. “Our house is party central after those training sessions. The guys even came round when I was holed up in the house due to an injury.”