Celine and Wolke will be out and about for two days during this year’s induction week. Due to unavoidable last-minute changes to the composition of the various groups, pairs of group leaders will supervise two groups this year. The first-year students will be treated to one ‘offline day’ featuring activities for which they will meet in person, and will spend the remaining days hanging out together online. “We’ll try to come up with some fun questions to ask the first-year students,” Celine tells us. “If you only ask people ‘What’s your name?’, things may get awkward on Zoom. Thankfully, we’re both very outgoing and sociable, so we’ll be just fine.”

Celine and Wolke, who both study tax law, have been watching the opportunities for large parties and huge get-togethers dwindle in Rotterdam for the last few months. They are actually pleasantly surprised that they will be allowed to meet the freshers in person at all, albeit for one day only. Of course, it is a pity that this year’s Eurekaweek won’t be the same as previous editions.

It’s particularly sad for Wolke. Celine took part in the Eurekaweek activities when she was a fresher, and was a group leader last year as well. However, for Wolke, the 2020 Eurekaweek was going to be her first. As a first-year student, she chose not to attend the activities so that she could go on holiday instead. “I do somewhat regret that. I keep hearing all these stories – like people telling me they had a great time at the beer choir sing-along.” But, says Wolke, she wanted to become a group leader so as to be able to help first-year students, and she can still do that, coronavirus or not.

Eurekaweekgroepje 2019

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Celine is still in touch with half the people on the group she led last year. “I kept our WhatsApp group up and running after Eurekaweek. When the first exams were held, I asked them how they were doing, and they know they are free to contact me if they have any questions. Freshers love being able to ask questions. ‘Do you actually have a life outside your studies?’ – things like that.”

The two group leaders completely understand that everything is subject to change and that there is still some uncertainty regarding the exact nature of this year’s induction week, which will kick off on Sunday. “It must suck for the Eurekaweek organising committee. They had to completely overhaul the programme at the last minute. Things are easy for us. We’ll simply go wherever they want us to go.” They both greatly admire the students who are ‘making it all happen’.

“You know what? It’s probably going to be the chillest Eurekaweek ever,” says Celine. “It’s kind of nice, for once, not to have to stay up until 5am only to have to get up again at 10am.” To which Wolke adds: “Which is probably a good thing, as I have a re-sit on Wednesday. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the exam was postponed until mid-July, and so the re-sit was postponed until mid-August.”

But to Celine, the best thing about the induction week being shorter than usual is shirt-related. “I’ll only have to wear that sweaty shirt for two days. I cut off the sleeves last year, which helped, but honestly, you don’t want to know what gets poured over you on those party nights.”