14 februari 2020

Bachelor Day: Then & Now

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On February 8th two students and I helped at the VU Bachelor Open Day. We spoke at information sessions on the Literature and Society bachelor that we all study together, trying to sell the course to prospective students. Helping at these kinds of events has always been important to me; I recall fondly my own visit to the VU in 2016, when I heard what current students felt about the course. It was their enthusiasm that led me out here to Amsterdam, and I’ll never forget that if it wasn’t for those previous students, I would have missed this phenomenal opportunity. No, that doesn’t quite do it justice; moving here was totally life changing. I was sent down a previously hidden path in life, as studying abroad had never occurred to me until I heard from other international students about the places they traveled to, the work they’ve done, and the friends they’ve made along the way.

bachelor day

'But, what will you do with a literature degree?'

That’s why, at every chance I get, I fanatically encourage prospective international students to move abroad for their studies. Plus, helping at a VU event often means getting paid for it, and so speaking to a sea of people at the information session was much easier knowing it was earning me €9.95 per hour. However, even without monetary motivation you would have found me there, enthusiastically telling students about the course content and the books we read. I don’t claim to be the best spokesperson for my degree, but I didn’t have to be. I know, having been in the audience once, that listening to any student at the end of a degree can help another student begin their own journey: it is comforting to see what the end of the path could look like as you stand at the beginning of it. As I frantically improvised what I was saying—perhaps slightly hungover from the previous evening’s escapades—I truly felt like my perspective was being taken on board by some of the more eager-looking students. However, as you may expect, I did overhear some parents comment to their children: “But, what will you do with a literature degree?” To that I say… I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

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