No one seems to forget to do their homework: there is a lot of competition among students
Living here on campus is quality from day one. Most universities require it for their first-year students as well. I can’t imagine what it’s like to move to another city after high school, but here it’s completely normal. At seventeen, I wasn’t ready to live on my own. Even now, that’s an even bigger change.
But I now see that the obligation to immerse myself in campus life also brings many possibilities. Here you can easily make friends with your neighbors, have dinner with your classmates and walk to class with members of your sports club. It’s a different story at AUAS. Most people do not live near the Amstel campus and most sports clubs and associations are not affiliated with the university. Here, on campus, your entire social circle is within walking distance. It is very easy here to meet or visit someone at the last minute.
There are two sides to the story. Meanwhile, you are completely isolated from the rest of the community here. All the people you meet during the day are fellow students in their twenties. The school has a big ‘clique’ mentality which can be very intimidating as a fresher. Who should I join? In the Netherlands you always have a separate sports club, student union or work you belong to, but here everything has the same people, culture and community.
There is a lot more competition within an American university like this than in Dutch higher education. Many students start building their resume from day one. They join clubs and organizations and do all kinds of extracurricular activities. I found it very interesting that the standard was so high. The pressure among the students is huge and this is also observed in the lessons. Nobody seems to forget to do their homework here. My classmates already have a lot of work experience. They appear to be the editor-in-chief of a newspaper or magazine, or an intern at a major media outlet in New York City. I have a dream, here is the routine.
This university challenges me during classes, that’s obvious. I learn about different perspectives and new things here. But you know what: I can’t wait to get back to Amsterdam, where school is more of a side issue than a priority. That American competitive spirit? I want to give it up in December.
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