By Lonneke de Klerk
Last week, it was that special time of year again when new students in uni-colored t-shirts march through the city centre, led by two parents who have the crucial task of introducing these new students to their new reality: student life at UCR.
Through a myriad of activities, our new fellow-students got rid of the shake and tremble in their hands and voices, and they got to know Middelburg, and its surroundings. Judging by the exhausted but smiling faces, the endless hugs and the “I’m going to miss you so much-even though we will still see each other every day”-exclamations during the final dinner, and the so-called Grammy Awards, we can conclude that IntRoweek 2013 was a success.
“IntRoweek was not short of amazing! I feel at home already and it feels like I’ve known some friends I made this week for years. Sounds poetic but this place feels like a warm bath of conviviality!” says first-year student Hilde van der Heul. As a child of the award-winning Amy Winehouse family, she speaks with great enthusiasm about IntRoweek and her family. “Being in a family was a great way for the students to bond and it helped us start building our social life in Middelburg.”
Favorite activities were by far the famous beach walk, this year adapted to the theme as the Walk of Fame, and the pubcrawl. Some of the assignments during the beach walk caused some discussion. Last year during the beach walk, the students were tied together with tie raps in couples. This year, however, the godparents that actively helped out throughout the week, tied the families together in a circle, which made for an amusing sight.
Kim Voerknecht, her parent in IntRoweek, agrees that it was a fun activity, although the tie raps were quite painful on the wrists. “Maybe replace them by those fluffy handcuffs?” suggests Ambrosa.
Julien Delestre, member of the Bruce Springsteen family, pays a compliment to the RASA board and the godparents: “Everything was very well organized, I always knew where to go and when to be there.” The only criticism he could think of was the tight schedule. “We had very little free time because the schedule was so tight.”
Several students found it exhausting to have such little free time. However, the intensity of IntRoweek is also the reason why students bond so well with their families: exhaustion is a great thing to bond over.
After five full days of great activities, meeting new people and finding their way in a new city, it’s time for a well-deserved weekend. Thanks to RASA, the godparents and the parents, the class of 2016 has been successfully introduced to the first of the three goldfish: social life. However, after this weekend it’s time for the real deal and the second fish: academics. Let’s hope that this will be as successful as the last week!
Lonneke de Klerk, class of 2015, is a Literature and Linguistics major from Middelburg, Netherlands.