30 September 2022

Don't be afraid to seek help

Hi there! For starters, I hope you’re doing excellent. I hope you feel like every day of your life is amazing, that you experience every moment to the fullest and that you feel nothing short of amazing every step in the process.

Now, that probably sounded very fake and unrealistic. See, VU Amsterdam has over 30.000 students. All of these students have their own personal and unique experiences, feelings and mental health. You, just like every other student, experience positive and negative emotions. Without the one the other can’t exist. Constantly expecting to be happy is, paradoxically, going to probably make you pretty miserable. Shortly put, nobody is going to be happy all the time, and that’s okay.

The initiatives within VU Amsterdam often don’t reach the students they should

At VU Amsterdam, there are people trying to make sure you experience positivity in life, those sparks in your day or week. This feeling of togetherness, of embeddedness within vu is often called the ‘VU Community’, a term milked endlessly. However, the concept behind it is very important. To experience the university as a place of positive experiences is crucial, if you’re going to be spending years in this campus.

See, the initiatives that exist within VU Amsterdam often don’t reach the students they should. So keep reading, because I’ll list some for you! If you want come together for a good time with other students on campus, be sure to walk into 3D, next to the Spar on campus. If you need to talk to someone, or practical support, the Student Wellbeing point is there to support you next to the student desk. 

For heavier subjects, get into contact with the student psychologists. To talk about the issues that plague you with other students, or generally for self-reflection, check out NewConnective. Next to all of these initiatives, your study programme probably has a study association where you can get to know people, make friends and generally have a good time. Now, this is just a selection of everything going on at the campus. Most of these initiatives and organizations can be found on Instagram, so give them a look!

Finally, life can be tough, but things do get better. I have been depressed to the point of wanting to give up, and I’m endlessly grateful to still be here and experiencing every day. Please don’t be afraid to seek help; and don’t forget to ask those around you how they are doing. For me, talking always helps a tremendous deal, and it might just be the same for you. Take care.

Joep van Dijk

Chair University Student Council

Joep van Dijk


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