Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Alle begin is moeilijk' or 'The first step is the hardest'

In Dutch there is a saying stating: ‘Alle begin is moeilijk..’ where apparently in English one refers to ‘The first step is the hardest..’ or ‘All things are difficult before they are easy’ (which both prove again that proverbs are not meant to be translated). I would like to doubt this proverb when it comes to writing blogs, cause the first thing to start with is introducing myself. And since I agreed on writing this blog about me and my life being a student, I should naturally be a person that loves to talk about herself, which makes an introduction about myself a piece of cake.

My name is Ellen, I’m 23 years old and will be starting my Master in Economics of Public Policy and Management this September, next week that is. I consider myself a very experienced student, since I’ve been one for about 5 years now. Back in 2006 I started my bachelors in Economics here at the Utrecht University School of Economics (USE). I got sidetracked along the way but since I liked studying at USE a lot, I ended up being a student at the same school again.

My sidetracks from studying do not only behold drinking and partying, as some people think that is the only thing student life defines. When I started in 2006 I immediately became an active member at the study association ECU’92. ECU’92 brought me the life I have now. It brought me, among other things, a significant group of friends, several studytrips to various locations and I have to admit a little bit of partying and drinking was involved too. It brought me a boardyear in which I’ve learned lots about myself, about my fellow boardmembers, about working together very intensively and it had a very nice, let’s say.. ‘side-effect’. It got me a boyfriend. Next to that it gave me a network which helped me along in different ways. For example the letter of recommendation I got from the Dean of the school, who I worked with earlier, helped huge amounts in getting into the State University of New York – Binghamton, where I stayed for half a year. Next to my board year that half a year is the second big ‘sidetrack’ I took, which I enjoyed intensively.

After returning from the US this January, with a backpack full of new stories, beautiful places I’ve visited and new friends to visit all over the world, but unfortunately with not a penny left, I left my academic adventures for what they were and started looking for a job. And again thanks to the network my board year left me, I got a job at an investment agency fairly quickly. Working 36 hours a week is something you get used to very fast and I really enjoy my job. Lucky as I am they’ve asked me to stay working at the company for 16 hours a week next to my masters upcoming year.

Which brings me to starting studies again in about 2 weeks, and it might be that the proverb mentioned earlier does apply to that..