By Nadia van Kesteren
As a third-year student at LUC, the Hague, I now live outside of campus, since we all got kicked out of the one building where everything happens, where all first and second years live, and all classes take place.
This one magical building is called AVB, I live a ten-minute bike-ride away from it, with two housemates and the mouse we keep hearing walking around in the walls but that no one ever actually sees. Since I can’t get up ten minutes before class anymore, I wake up at around 7.30 am, and get ready for the day. I wish I could say I do some morning yoga, clean up, and read a whole book about self-love, but I tend to not even be done with my assignments for that day. After stressing about my homework, going through all five stages of grief and arriving at the acceptance of the fact that I’ll never get this finished and will never become president of the world anyway, so that this one reading will not really matter in the grand scheme of things, I down five cups of tea and grab a banana to eat on my way to class.
Source: Nadia van Kesteren
Today I start with a 9 am course in Energy Science, where everything is physics and everyone struggles to understand anything. Naturally, as a student of international law, I feel very at home in this class. There’s about 20 students per course, and in this one I am the only student that does not major in Earth, Energy, and Sustainability. I strategically sit next to the student that tends to understand everything, and I get through this class on thermodynamics and the Carnot cycle relatively unscathed.
I did not bring anything from home for lunch since I haven’t done groceries in about three weeks, and I didn’t have time this morning to steal any food from my housemates. I go to the one shop that has a special place in every LUC student’s heart: Dagelijks Lekker. This sandwich shop offers literally anything for €1,80. I order a chicken sandwich and a smoothie, and while I eat it I think about how I probably should be a vegetarian since I’m studying global challenges and how to save the world. My chicken sandwich tastes good though.
My second class that day starts at 1 pm, a course called Structure and Functioning of the EU. This is more my turf, and although I didn’t do the readings or read the cases that we were supposed to, Wikipedia gets me through it pretty well. We talk about principles of EU law, how an EU citizen can claim their rights when the Member State does not fulfil its duty, and, of course, Brexit is mentioned at least twice.
I finish with my classes for the day at 3 pm, and after talking to my classmates and seeing some first years with nothing to do play a game of pool, I go home. There is not a lot of work to do today, since I have the day off tomorrow, which serves as my catch up day. So I take this afternoon to relax, clean my room, and think about doing groceries but then don’t. There’s another house of LUC students around the corner, and we decide to go to the beach for dinner that evening, since for once the wind does not feel like Hurricane Sandy. We pack some food and bring blankets and pillows and music and beers, and while we eat we talk about our life goals, about the future, and about what art is, because we’re pretentious, and most of us are Human Diversity students taking philosophy and art classes. The beach gets absolutely freezing after a while, and the alcohol can only heat us up to a certain extent, so we go home to get ready for the rest of the night.
This evening, the Beyond Arts committee is organising a Karaoke Night. These nights are revered at LUC, since students and teachers come together to sing Britney Spears and obscure 2000s rap. We arrive right in the middle, and the whole first floor of AVB is full of people drunk on the cheap beer that our bar provides. Someone is belting out A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, some people in the corner are having a conversation on developmental aid with one of the professors, a group of people is dancing in the middle of the floor, and two guys are hugging each other drunkenly. There’s a pretty intense make out session going on in the corner, and a crying girl pushes past me as I try and get up the stairs. A typical karaoke night.
Beyond Arts (2015-2016): Karaoke Night with dr Adam Buben, professor of philosophy, and dr Anar Ahmadov, professor of political economy.
Since everyone knows everyone, you tend to go from one group to another, moving from the middle of the dancefloor to the end of the bar to complain about the fact that this song has been sung at least three times already. All of a sudden, it’s 2 am, and the guards tell everyone to close it down. Some die-hards go out to go to Millers, the shittiest (but most loved) club in The Hague. But I call it a night and go home. I promise myself that I’ll go to the gym tomorrow, I’ll really finish all my readings, AND I’ll finally do my groceries. Realistically, I’ll wake up at 1 pm, I’ll do about half of my readings, and the gym will be postponed to next week. The groceries I was never gonna do anyways.
Nadia van Kesteren, class of 2018, is an International Justice major at Leiden University College, the Hague, the Netherlands.
Featured Image Source: Reflexion Architecture Photography