Four years of study can be a bit of a struggle at times, so you may as well make the most of them. Let us give you a few tips to help you on your way.
1. Move out
It may sound like stating the obvious, but trust us: living away from home cannot only make student life much more fun, but can also be a great learning experience. After all, it means you will have to start sorting out your own affairs, ranging from registration with the municipal authority, to converting your basic grant to a grant for students living away from home. And let’s not forget the cooking, cleaning and washing.
Living away from your family leaves more room for spontaneity. Don’t feel like cooking?
By all means, go out for a nice meal, without feeling bad about your mother waiting for you at home with your dinner. Having an off-day? No reason not to stay in bed, as no one is going to nag you about going to classes.
And how about a dorm? The advantage of having housemates is that there is always someone around to cook, watch TV or go out for a drink with.
2. Find out what you’re passionate about
Next it’s time to find out what best suits you. Do you like being involved in your training or college? If so, why not sign up for the student council? It’s another great opportunity to learn from. Then again, perhaps you’d much rather do something non-school related in your free time. Join a drama club, take singing lessons or throw yourself into an exercise regime. And in order to fund your student life, you have little option but to get a job on the side.
3. Use your ‘status’
There are lots of places where students can receive discounts by producing their student cards: the hairdresser’s and clothes shops, but also when eating in restaurants or getting a takeaway. And the same goes for the purchase of textbooks. Go to www.studentenkorting.nl for all the places with the best buys in the different Avans cities.
But the benefits don’t end there. As a student you can exercise at a discounted rate as Avans has a range of contracts with various sports organisations. What’s more, thanks to the OV public transport pass you can travel around the country for free, so make sure you make use of it! Go and visit a friend who is studying in Amsterdam, or simply board a train without any specific plans and see where it takes you. Travel to a town you’ve never been to before for a shopping spree, or go to the beach and get out in the fresh air. For the time being, you can do all this for free!
4. Go to a theme party (or throw one yourself)
A gala just before Christmas, an après ski party in winter, a fitness or moustache party: theme parties will simply never go out of fashion. Each student association organises at least one such party a year. It’s tough to be original and you will often see recurring themes: naughty & nice, blacklight or pyjama parties.
Whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake made by a second-year student from Groningen. She organized an GDEF (Get Drunk Even Faster) party and ordered some buttons that looked like the Star of David. The button manufacturer alerted the authorities and the press had a field day.
5. Become an expert in SAB-ing
The exams are coming up and despite all your best intentions to start studying well in advance, you are experiencing severe study stress. You really intend to start cramming, but sooner or later you can no longer fight it: study-avoiding behaviour, or SAB. This type of behaviour primarily manifests itself in the form of endless Facebook and YouTube visits and reading blogs. But if you’re going to fall prey to a spell of SAB-ing anyway, you may as well make yourself useful. Clean your room, do a wash, sort your bookcase by colour, or do the dishes for all your housemates. Followed by one episode of your favourite series. But just the one and then it’s time to return to the textbooks!