Member Mumble #1: Veerle de Jong

For the past few months, things have not gone the way I wanted them to go. For starters, I did not go on summer vacation. While everyone was having fun somewhere around the world (thanks for all those Snapchats guys!), I was bedridden during my summer due to an operation. But I figured, once I would be back in school, things would be great again. I would see my best friends, have lots and lots of fun with my new courses, and, you know, would not be lying in bed all day. However, as most of you must have experienced some time in your lives, things don’t always go the way you want them to go.

I pride myself on being an optimist. My friends at school know I am easily irritated, but I never take that extra step of it actually letting it get to me. Nevertheless, these two weeks have already been a challenge while university life has just started. Things have gone wrong which I never figured could actually go wrong, my extra course was not as interesting as I thought, and lots and lots and lots of other things. I think most (if not all) of you have experienced that point in your academic year in which you just say “fuck it, I’m going to be a stripper,” (or whatever career option does not require a degree, for me it has always been a sheep herder in Iceland). This point most often comes at the end of the second period, but with me it came this Tuesday afternoon. I had to print a document, but the printer was not having its day. Neither was I. A few seconds after trying for the fifth time I literally screamed (people stared) and said “fuck, fuck, fuck it! Fuck this degree, fuck my education! I am moving to Iceland and that’s it!”

I was done. Done with trying to always be prepared for everything. Done with trying my best at everything. Things will never go the way you want them to go. And a few hours later, I realised that that was perfectly fine. Because, later on, after my screaming session with the printer, when I started writing my summary of an academic text, I could hardly read my own handwriting. It was ugly and unreadable. But while I was thinking this (and wanted to scream again) I wrote the most beautiful letter H and Y I had ever written in my life. And it hit me. Nothing needs to be perfect. Nothing needs to be A++. As long as there are small things in your life from which you can take immense pleasure (like some stupid letters that are really pretty) you will be fine!

So, this text is for everyone already having a hard time. For the first year students who are already having trouble with their courses. Remember and learn from this nit-picking perfectionist that not everything is about being the best at university. It’s about having fun, being able to laugh at yourself (like I am doing right now), and taking pleasure from anything you can. Seeing that in a few years time you will have to be an actual adult, you will want the memories of your student life to be of beautiful people and things you laughed about. Then you will think back to the best years of your life with pleasure and a smile on your face.