While most groups are sitting in the rain with their sandwiches during the ‘Eat & Greet’, group 72 is happily going through their introduction round. ‘What is your favourite drink’, and ‘which shot did you get’? In other words, which vaccine did you get? The future medical students didn’t know each other three hours before, but they are looking forward a to Eurekaweek together. Even though most of them have no idea what they will be doing in the coming days.

Cutting the queue

One of the group members, Zoë, reflects on the first day. The queues at the opening ceremony were a bit chaotic, but still the ‘concert vibes’ prevailed. “At one point I looked at the large number of people around me and thought: wow, this does feel uncomfortable after two years.” Those queues were a slight bummer for more people, especially if they were getting soaked.

Group guide Anouk admits that they cut the queue a couple of times, and that they nicked the sign of group 70 in Ahoy. “Our sign was nowhere to be seen, so for the sake of convenience we passed that problem on to the next group, haha. But apart from that, we just stick to the rules, because of course they are there for a reason. That we can have a Eurekaweek in physical form this year is really great.”

De markthal bleek een goede plek om even te schuilen voor de regen.
The Markthal was a perfect stop to shelter from the rain Image credit: Wouter Sterrenburg

After a short pee break, a plan is drawn up in the Markthal, and one of the freshmen suggests that they could do the planned city game. The fact that even group guide Tom has no idea what the game entails, ensures that the plan never gets serious. The more vocal group members prefer to have a drink at one of the clubs. Someone shouts that tickets are needed for Laurentius, so they choose the nearest club: RSG.

Beer pong table

While some in the group seem completely used to student life, others are more reserved. This is noticeable on the partly covered terrace of RSG, where freshmen are roaming around. A group of boys quickly head for the beer pong table. Among them is Pieter, who studied in Leiden for a year before being admitted to Medicine. He immediately joined rowing club Skadi, he tells with a Leiden accent. “I wanted to have a sociable club life, through my brother and other friends who also row, I knew immediately that I could find that at the rowing club. It’s also really cool to sleep in a Skadi house this week, so I’ve already had my first party! Tonight we’re going with the whole group, so that’s going to be fun anyway.”

Later on, two girls, Salma and Arezo, seem to have found each other in any case. Why did they choose Medicine in Rotterdam and not elsewhere? Arezo: “When I went to Leiden, I felt that in terms of diversity it did not match what I was looking for. Rotterdam is much more diverse, and really a city. That attracts me.”

Meanwhile, the time on the RSG terrace has come to an end, and the students-to-be have to go to dinner. They are looking forward to the party at Skadi tonight, because measures and QR codes or not: parties remain a highlight of the Eurekaweek anyway.