“Exactly one year ago, when I had just completed all my courses, I encountered Volt, so I decided to put off the writing of my thesis for a semester. I organised online events on the national level for the party, including a successful radio show. In August I started working on my thesis again, but then they asked me to stand for Parliament. Now I’m combining my thesis with standing as a candidate.”
Link to the real world
“I got interested in politics just before I became a student. Student grants had just been abolished, meaning getting a degree became a lot more expensive. So I realised a rather drastic decision had been made for me, and I’d had absolutely no say in the matter. So during the course of my degree programme, I immersed myself in politics, particularly in climate change policy.
Newcomers Volt, JA21 and Bij1 score well in EM poll, but D66 wins
EUR students and staff often back the D66 party, EM's poll has revealed. Around 1 in 8…
“Another thing I noticed was that in my Econometrics degree, we never discussed the problems society is facing. All we learned was how to maximise companies’ profits by using maths and some knowledge of the economy. I thought we were missing out on a good opportunity there, because the things you learn in an econometrics degree can be used to provide a greater understanding of climate change or model migration flows. In other words, they can be used to solve societal issues, but that’s not something we learn in our lectures. I found that the easiest way for me to learn these things was to enter politics.”
Learned so much
“I learned a lot while running for office. For instance, I made short videos in which I briefly touched on several subjects that are important to students, such as climate change, the housing market and the education system, and in which I explained how we want to solve these issues. I also wrote two articles. I wrote about a car-free Rotterdam for Vers Beton, and about the housing market for NRC. I’d never done any writing before, but I found I really enjoyed it.
“Realistically, I hardly stand a chance of being elected to Parliament. But that’s not the main thing for me. I just wanted to see whether politics is my cup of tea at all. What I can say now is that it is, but I want to grow and learn more about subjects such as migration, pension funds and hydrogen. I’ll have enough time to do so before the next elections. I may stand for Parliament again in four years. I’ll still be in my twenties then, but I’ll have a little more experience and knowledge.”
In the run-up to the elections, these student podcasts can help you choose
“With their vote, young people can do a lot to correct the age imbalance in political…
“My parents are proud of me. I don’t think they ever expected me to do anything like this. I was a very shy child. I didn’t dare speak up and I didn’t enjoy playing with other children. My first year at uni was a turning point. I felt like I’d finally found my tribe when I embarked on my degree programme. In addition, joining RSC/RVSV shaped me and made me who I am today. I learned not to be too bothered by other people’s opinions on me, and not to let my anxiety determine my life. I will be eternally grateful for all the people I’ve met here. They’ve changed me a lot, in a positive way.”
“To my surprise, I’ve received really nice reactions from young people. I used to think that my fellow students wouldn’t be interested in my being active in politics, because many of them regard politics as dull stuff or something only older people are interested in. But it seems that they’re quite impressed with my doing this. I’d really like to say to other young people: it’s not that special. Be sure to enter politics yourself if you enjoy that sort of thing. Don’t worry about all the knowledge and skills you might lack, because you’ll receive support. If, like myself, you’re looking for a way to combine what you’re learning in your degree programme with how you can use that knowledge in a way that will benefit society, joining a political party will be perfect you. You’ll learn a lot about things you’re interested in, and you’ll meet a lot of new people, too. In short, it will help you grow.”