10 Things I’ve Learned As A University Student

10-Things-Thursday #1

I know, it’s supposed to be 10-Things-Tuesday, but today I want to make an exception. You see, today is extra special. I just had my graduation and received my Master’s Degree in Book and Digital Media studies, which is pretty amazing, but it also happens to be my 23rd birthday. So, here are 10 things I’ve learned as a student at Leiden University.

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  1. Your degree is nothing more than a piece of paper. Don’t get too focused on getting your diploma. Sometimes people go to university, learn everything they need to learn and don’t actually graduate. It’s the experiences that really matter.
  2. You learn most from your fellow students. I’ve met some amazing people at my university and I’ve learned so much from all of them. Whether they were born in the Netherlands like me, or in other countries all over the world, they can teach you so much more than any professor ever could.
  3. University isn’t about agreeing to everything you’re told. Learn to form your own opinions. Don’t just believe everything your professors tell you. Always be critical! Never stop asking why.
  4. Sometimes second best is enough. Allow yourself to slack off every once in a while. Do just enough to pass that class. There will always be tomorrow. You don’t have to always give everything you’ve got. It’s okay to take a break and say f*ck it.
  5. If you love what you study, even the boring things will become bearable. We all have to suffer through classes we absolutely hate. This is unavoidable. But, in the end, these classes teach a valuable lesson: Even doing the things you love can be difficult and annoying at times. If you’re able to survive these classes, you know that you’re studying the thing you love.
  6. You can always say no. They always say that university is the time to experiment. It’s the time to figure out who you are. I say, screw that! I still haven’t figured out who I am. Does anyone ever do? Be brave and try the things you’ve always wanted to try, but be courageous too and say no if you feel uncomfortable. You know your limits, don’t let others push you over the edge.
  7. It’s okay if you still don’t know what you want to be. I know that university is supposed to prepare you for your future job, but if you don’t know what you want to do, that’s fine too. See what subjects interest you and search for jobs in that particular field. But even if you can’t find it, don’t panic. Allow yourself to just not know for a bit. Everything will fall into place, somehow.
  8. Internships are a great learning experience. When you start university or college, going to school is all you’ve ever known. You need to learn what it means to have a job. And more importantly, getting a job after graduation is a lot easier if you have experience. Internships allow you to learn more about your professional interests. So, do an internship, even if it’s not required.
  9. You will find a job! This is the most important lesson I’ve learned. It may not be the thing you always dreamed of doing, but we all need to start somewhere. Ask yourself what you love to do, and build on that. Don’t be afraid to try things. Quitting your job is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you are a quitter. It means that you know what you want and that job just isn’t it!
  10. When everything seems to fall apart, something good always happens. There have been moments that I felt like my Master was the wrong decision. I had moments that I just didn’t know what I was going to do next. I dreaded my graduation, because I felt like I wasn’t prepared for what was to come next. But, the truth is, you’re not supposed to have it all figured out after you graduate. So let life fall apart sometimes. You’ll be able to see things more clearly.

Have a nice Thursday!

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The 10 Stages Every Book-Lover Goes Through Before Starting a New Book

10-Things-Tuesday #18

  1. The I-have-nothing-to-read stage

This is where it all begins. Your TBR (to be read) pile has taken over your room, but none of the books on the pile feel right. You’re still dealing with the emotional rollercoaster from the last book you read and you need to find that one perfect soulmate book that will make you feel better.

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  1. The let’s-create-a-reading-list stage

After going through your TBR pile a hundred times you finally realise it’s not going to work. So instead you decide to make a reading list. And not just any reading list. Your list will look like a piece of art with the perfect handwriting and decorations. You just know that if you have all your books organised the right book will just magically come to you.

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  1. The let’s-order-my-bookcase-by-colour stage

After you finish the list and you still haven’t found that soulmate book you are looking for, you focus your energy on the books you have read and start rearranging your bookcase.

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  1. The I-need-more-books stage

After your bookcase looks like a colourful rainbow you admit to yourself that maybe you just haven’t bought that soulmate book yet and you just need to buy some new books.

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  1. The I-need-to-update-my-list stage

This, however, also means you have to update your amazing reading list.

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  1. The maybe-if-I-hold-the-book-I-will-want-to-read-it stage

Now you have ten more books and still nothing to read. You just know that your soulmate book is out there and maybe holding all your TBR books one by one will send you some divine message.

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  1. The let’s-order-my-bookcase-alphabetically stage

Again, you give up and go back to your bookcase. The rainbow just doesn’t feel like you.

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  1. The I-have-too-many-books stage

This is when desperation sets in and you realise you just have too many books to choose from. You end up crying on the floor desperately holding onto your TBR pile.

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  1. The I-hate-reading stage

Eventually, you decide you hate reading and will never touch another book ever again. They betrayed you!

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  1. The let’s-just-read-Harry-Potter-again stage

Days later you walk past your bookcase and see the cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone staring back at you. Without thinking you grab it from the shelf and disappear into the magical world of Harry Potter.

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Have a nice 10-Things-Tuesday!

10-things-Tuesday #17

My second semester just started and I’ve only considered dropping out about 10 times. I’m so proud.
Here are 10 things I hate about starting a new semester in college.

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Number one: Alarm clocks. Do I need to say anymore?

Number two: Introductory classes. I really don’t need the professor to read the planner and tell us which articles and books we’re reading this semester. I got that planner four weeks ago and I know how to read. I think I can figure it out myself. And I don’t need you to tell us what we’ll be learning this semester either. How about you just start teaching.

Number three: And really, do we still need to say our names to introduce ourselves. We’re in college. Nobody cares about names. I won’t remember them anyways. I either feel like I’m still in elementary school or attending an AA-meeting. “Hi, my name is Charlotte. I’ve been sober for 2 days now.”

Number four: Group-presentations. More specifically, making groups for those presentations. It’s high school all over again: everyone feels awkward and no one ends up with the people they want to end up with. Stop forcing us to work together. One person ends up doing all the work anyways. There’s always this one person whose name you always forget. And the one who is always late. (I hate that person.) Or the one that doesn’t do sh*t, but starts complaining when the presentation is finally finished. Oh, and then there’s the one that doesn’t know anything, but does make these amazing PowerPoint presentations (that’s me). It’s just so useless.

Number five: Unplanned excursions. One of my professors thought it would be a fun idea to walk around Leiden (it’s this city in the Netherlands. Google it!) for our first class. I didn’t dress to go for a walk. Most of the girls in my class were wearing 50 inch heels. Walking alone is a challenge, walking on the cobble stones in Leiden is impossible.

Number six: Pressure pushing professors. They tell you all these things you need to do this semester. All the presentations, written assignments, finals and so much more. They just keep throwing them in your face. A 3000-word paper for you, a 45 minute presentation for the guy crying in the front, a two hour final for the girl who fainted in the back. It’s like Oprah: You get an F, you get an F, everybody gets an F.
F- you!

Number seven: That one overly excited student that won’t keep his mouth shut. It’s our first class. Please, just take it easy. I’m still waking up back here. Give me a minute to adjust.

Number eight: New schoolbooks. Why do those things need to be so damn expensive? And I don’t know if this is just me, but my books are usually written by the professors that are teaching the class. They are making hard cash by making us buy their books and then only make us read one chapter. Are you kidding me?

Number nine: Mondays!

Number ten: Professors that expect us to know everything. You already know everything about Appadurai, right? We’ll move on to then. Wait, who? Did he just say a name or did he just make up a new word? What happened? I’m so screwed.

Thank you. I really needed this. You’re such great listeners.

Have a nice Tuesday.

10-things-Tuesday #16

You ever feel old? Yeah, me too. Here are 10 signs you’re getting old.
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  1. The word ‘fashion’ sounds exhausting. You don’t even know where to get the clothes that all the ‘young kids’ are wearing these days. I mean, sweats are fashion too, right?
  2. You use the term the ‘young kids’!
  3. “When I was your age.” Has become your new catch phrase.
  4. People call you sir/madam way too often.
  5. Writing yes like yas just doesn’t make sense.
  6. Technology confuses you.
  7. You get all the dirty jokes in all the Disney movies.
  8. To you Ariana Grande is the new drink at StarBucks.
  9. And One Direction is your new GPS system.
  10. Throwing a tantrum is no longer considered cute when you do it. Now it’s just pathetic.

Have a nice Tuesday.

10-things-Tuesday #15

It’s become a new way of communicating, a new way of speaking, a new way of explaining our inner emotions. Yes, I’m talking about emoticons. Smiley faces, crying cats, dancing twins, thumbs up, hearts and most recently the middle finger. These are just some of the options you can chose from. We no longer need to express our inner thoughts with words we can just send each other a little image and all of a sudden everything makes sense. There are just some emoticons that don’t make sense at all. They just confuse me and sometimes scare me. Here are ten emoticons that make me feel old because I have no idea what they mean and why anyone would ever use them.

  1. Those creepy purple devils.
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    Why are they purple? Why is one of them smiling like he’s up to something while the other looks like he’s about to destroy the whole world? In what situation would you ever need to use those creepy Satans?
  2. The girl with her hands above her head and her arms crossed.
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    What is she doing? Is she dancing YMCA and doing a really poor job? What’s happening? Is she having a stroke? Because if she is, why would you need an emoticon for that? If you’re having a stroke call a doctor, don’t waste time texting your friends!
  3. The blowfish.
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    What am I supposed to do with that?
  4. The bamboo trees.
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    Do they have some hidden meaning I don’t know? Was there some kind of class in school that explained the meaning behind all these emoticons that I missed?
  5. The lock with the pen in front of it.
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    Is this some rebus puzzle I supposed to solve? Only the written word can unlock my secrets. What does it mean?
  6. The plug.
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    I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
  7. The eggplant.
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    Is my phone trying to tell me I need to eat healthier? I have my sister for that. And what is that thing next to it? The fact that I don’t know what it is just proofs I don’t eat healthy enough.
  8. The 12 different train emoticons.
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    What am I supposed to do with those? Send all of them in case the person getting the text doesn’t know what a train looks like?
  9. The horizontal traffic light.
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    Do those really exist? Because if they do I apologize for my limited knowledge of horizontal traffic lights.
  10. The zzZ emoticon.
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    You do realize you can’t sleep and text at the same time!?!

If you do know why we need these emoticons let me know! Do enlighten me.

Have a nice Tuesday.

10-things-Tuesday #14

Things are about to get serious! Last week I went on a city trip to Dublin and like every tourist I feel like I know everything there is to know about Dublin. I really feel like I know what Dublin is about and that’s exactly why I feel comfortable writing this post. (*cough* sarcasm *cough*) Here are 10 things I learned on my trip to Dublin.
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Number one: Every single person in Dublin is colorblind. I’m not being mean. Really I’m not. The people there just don’t seem to know the difference between a red and green traffic light and colorblindness is the only logical explanation. Red light? Who cares, the cars will wait until I’ve crossed the street, they know how awesome I am. They can sense my awesomeness radiating towards their cars.

Number two: They say they speak English, but I’m still not convinced. That Irish accent is basically another language. It sounds amazing, though!

Number three: They don’t drink water, they just drink beer. I’m not even kidding, the water faucet is basically a beer faucet.

Number four: Their traffic lights make a Star Wars sound when it turns green. You know that sound the lightsabers make? That’s it.
It’s too bad they don’t wait for the traffic lights to turn green. They probably don’t even know the awesome sound it makes!

Number five: The homeless people are so tired of having to beg for their money, they will literally read a book with a cup in front of them. They read for money! Others just don’t even bother and just put the cup in front of them and take a nap. There are even students begging for money! (If this doesn’t show what’s wrong with our world, I don’t know what does!)

Number six: The Irish are the only people in the world who still know good music. Every night the city is filled with music. The pubs are full with people who just want to enjoy some old fashioned good music! I love those performers.

Number seven: They let you touch dead people!!! More about this in Thursday’s post!

Number eight: There are more churches than people, which means they are probably a very religious people. Right?

Number nine: Their history is violent, amazing and fascinating. Revolutions, wars and uprisings are nothing to these incredibly strong people.

Number ten: I love this city!

Have a nice Tuesday.

10-things-Tuesday #13

Sometimes, it’s hard to find inspiration and to keep going. We all have those days we just want to stay in bed. So, here are 10 things to inspire you to get out of bed in the morning.

Number one: The fact that planes can fly! It’s basically a metal box that just floats in the air. How? It’s magic. If those metal boxes can stay up in the air, you can get out of bed.
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Number two: Food. Just think about that bacon breakfast! (Or about those breakfast veggies if you’re vegan.)
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Number three: … You’ll have to go to the bathroom at some point!

Number four: Uhm. The universe is infinite, think about all the things you could do today.
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Number five: Oh, who am I kidding. The universe doesn’t care!

Number six: I give up!

Number seven: Just spend the rest of your lives I bed! Just watch some Netflix!

Number eight: I mean, I’m writing this post in the comfort of my own bed…

Number nine: I’m staying right here.
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Number ten: Planes crash all the time.

Have a nice Tuesday.