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5Sep/102

Uni life & the future of RoA

So I'm starting university tomorrow. In Dutch colleges ("HBO", literally "higher professional education") it's not uncommon to have a 9 to 4 or even 9 to 5, five days a week schedule. However, in universities, it's common to have only 2 to 3 days of classes, say about 16 to 20 hours per week. So, after four years of working a 9 to 5 job, I was secretly looking forward to having a bit more spare time.

About a week ago, I looked up my class schedule online... and it turns out I start class at 8:30am Mon-Thu and then on Friday I also have class from 10:30am onwards -- and finish daily at 5:15pm. Wait, what? How is this university and yet I'm at school for almost 9 hours daily? I then had a look at the train/bus timetables and concluded that basically, I have to leave the house by about 6:50 in the morning (you have to be kidding me there O.o so not a morning person) and get back back home by about 6:40 in the evening. Dinner, and then I'm sure there's at least some amount of homework left to be done (even with so many contact/practical hours), and, well... then I pretty much need to be in bed by 10pm-ish, given that I need to get up by 5:45 or so the next morning (even a week later, I'm currently still pointedly in denial regarding this bit).

This also means that -- at least while I do not have a dorm room yet and will be spending 3+ hours per day on a train or bus (instead of just 20-30 minutes per day on a bike) -- I'll have virtually no time to draw. Not on weekdays, at any rate, and with such busy weeks I suspect I'll be savouring my tiny bit of freedom on the weekends. To be honest, while I AM excited about my classes themselves, the prospect of such a busy schedule ahead of me has even been a bit of a mental/creative block for me over the past week. (I suspect this is the main cause of the FAIL concerning Thursday's Running on Adrenaline update.) And while I really, really hate to do this, I've decided to downgrade RoA to a once-a-week update schedule. I can't believe I originally started out with four pages a week (2x2) and now it's come to the point where I have to go down from two to one pages, but such is life.

Anyway -- let's move on to happier news. Last Thursday I went off to uni to collect my textbooks, uni card and lab coat. Now I'd heard some horror stories about this; that since there's 2000 students all picking up their stuff at the one shop, there was going to be a queue at least one hour long no matter when you went there during the entire pre-start-of-year week. This with the exception of going on the first possible day, when the queue might turn out to be two to three hours long.

So I actually gave this a bit of thought and worked out what I thought would be the best possible time to go. Monday was the first day of the week, and Wednesday (Sept 1st) the first day on which you could actually pick up your uni card in addition to your books, so those two options were out. And I wasn't going to go there on Tuesday for just my books and then get back in line on Thursday or Friday for my uni card, either. That left Thursday and Friday, and since students tend to be procrastinators, doing everything at the last minute, I figured Thursday was probably my best bet.

Even so, I expected to be in line for at least an hour, so off I went on Thursday morning, sandwiches and a bottle of water packed and everything. I'd made sure to go pretty early and arrived at about ten minutes after the store had opened... and was the first in line. Back outside within five minutes. Wait, what? It was almost anticlimactic. I'm not sure if I just got really lucky, actually did pick the most opportune time, or if those horror stories were grossly exaggerated. Given that I'd heard those from multiple different 2nd and 4th year students as well as a teacher, I somewhat doubt the latter, but... who knows.

That's my pile of textbooks for the first six weeks only. They're about 600 to 700 pages each. I find that somewhat daunting and secretly hope we're not going to cover every single chapter in every single book. Though if we are, I can suddenly see where the really full schedule comes from. >.>

Aaaand that would be me in my lab coat and safety goggles. Sexy, no? Haha. And damn, the coat is long. In secondary school chemistry classes, we occasionally had practical lessons where we had to wear school-provided lab coats, but those were hip length only. This thing comes down to about four to maybe six inches above my ankles. O.o

Addendum: as I was writing this, I received an email from a professor -- and it turns out that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I actually only have class until 3:15pm instead of 5:15pm. So that's a bit of an improvement. I'm still sticking with the once-a-week update schedule as far as RoA is concerned, though, for the time being. If it turns out I actually have plenty of spare time I can always go back to two pages a week, but for now I doubt that.

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  1. Succes de komende weken…. tot je een beetje in het ritme komt zal het wel zwaar zijn. Hoop ook dat je snel een kamer in de buurt vind.

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