Category Archives: university

Chatter about the sun, school & Banks

Hi everybody! How are you? The weather is SO nice over here, I’m in a real summery mood (yes, I do know it’s technically spring, but whatevs). Today I jumped on my bike, did some grocery shopping and bought me some tulips. It’s so nice to see everything turning green again. Gosh, I forgot how much the sun can do for your productivity level and overall ~emotional~ state.

A new course starts this week (today I handed in my essay from the previous one… let’s just say it was a short night last night… haha) and that means I’ll have to go to Amsterdam a shocking two times a week. I KNOW RIGHT?! Puh, don’t know if I’m going to be able to handle that! Although I must confess the prospect of having a class on friday till 5PM doesn’t really excite me, but I’ll manage ;)

It’s my last course and that also means the study year is soon coming to an end! Wow! After I finish my thesis I’m officially DONE with being a student. I’ll have to write it first of course… ahem. Luckily I received some good news today. Last week I went to visit the archives of the ministry of foreign affairs in The Hague and today I got the green light to access some documents I really want to use. So let’s do this! It is ON like Donkey Kong! And although I never know how and when I’ll blog, I do want to give you a heads up in case I do disappear for a month. It’s THE THESIS.

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to share a “new” music find: BANKS. Perfect music for these (almost) summery days.

Here is a cover she did from the Aaliyah song “Are You That Somebody”^. And here’s a link to one of her own songs Waiting Game.

Hope you’re well, have a nice week! x

Posted in daily musings, tunes, university | 14 Comments

stud•y verb >> to apply oneself to learning

When I was younger I read a lot of books, loved to study and always got good grades. Hermione Granger was probably my biggest example. I thought it was so cool how she knew everrrrything and was always one step ahead of the boys. She kicked ass and she was awesome doing so! Being a nerd suddenly wasn’t so bad anymore.

Nowadays I’m up to my eyeballs in study material and I have to say… sometimes I feel like throwing those books out of the window. I still have one or two years to go though! Luckily I can draw from five years of past experience. That still doesn’t mean I always study when I should. Whoops. Sometimes you just need a little kick in the butt to finally go and finish up that essay. At least I know I do.

Well, attention fellow students! Here are some tips and tricks I picked up on along the way. Some things are probably very “The Pope is catholic” and “Miley has a tongue (and likes to show it)”, other things are the ones I wish I had known about sooner. Maybe you will get something from it as well or maybe you won’t. What might work for me, might not work for you. Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments. Let’s go!

1. plan ahead and manage the workload by dividing it into smaller pieces
The prospect of having to write a thesis or just a regular big essay can be a bit daunting. Doing research, deciding on a research subject, doing some more research, coming up with a writing structure and of course: the actual writing. The thing I always try to do when faced with such a daunting task is dividing it into smaller tasks. Sounds super simple and yes, it kind of is!

Let’s say I have an essay due in three months, but have to present it to my class the third week of november and I haven’t started yet (this is just hypothetical…… of course… ahem). Instead of being intimidated and freaking out and writing everything in the last week, I try to make it easier for myself and plan ahead. On monday I look up three sources and on tuesday as well. That’s all I do for that day, nothing more, nothing less. On thursday I try and come up with a structure for my essay. On saturday I write an introduction and on sunday I assign myself to write 200 words. These are all very small and manageable tasks. Instead of freaking out about having to write a whole essay and because of that freak-out not having done anything at the end of the day, this is a way better solution. This also works for exams or any other schoolwork. I use this method all the time and can’t do it any other way now. Way better for my blood pressure ;-)

This is going to be annoying and I’m going to sound just like your teacher, but it has to be done: read the assigned literature!!! Do it!!! Not only will it help you keep up with what’s being said in class, you will also be able to process it better (because it’s not all new to you, you’ve read about it already!). As a result you will get more out of your class. And let’s not forget about that exam that’s coming up at the end of the course. For this one class I’m taking I have to read an average of 300 pages a week and it’s all scientific literature. It’s kind of boring and well, let’s just say it’s no Harry Potter. Imagine you had to read all that in the few days you have before your exam. My exam is coming up in two weeks and if I hadn’t kept up with all of the reading by now, wow… That would be awful. I would probably feel the same as Harry when he had to come up with a spell to swim under water for 1,5 hours… (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire reference, sorry non-Potterheads). Long story short: just read the assigned literature! And in my experience it also helps to print everything instead of reading it of the screen. You can write in the margins and get little sticky notes to highlight the important pages.

Lees verder…

Posted in nonsensical references, university | 16 Comments

About the first week of September

Hey you! How are you? I can’t believe it’s September already! The leaves will soon begin to fall, the air will get colder and those white pants will have to disappear into to back of your closet. WINTER IS COMING… Only three more months till we’re taking selfies in front of a big decorated tree and Chris Rea will be driving home for Christmas (again). But enough of that, we still have three months to go ;-)

I started my classes this week. I only take two courses, but the workload is much heavier than I could’ve anticipated (just like the prices I had to pay for my books, gasp). Luckily it’s all very interesting and it makes me really excited to go to work and study my ass off. The first class I’m taking is a mandatory one called “History of international relations” and the second one is about Asia, “International relations and the rise of Asia”. That one is particularly fun because of the teacher, who has a lot of expertise and passion for his subject. The fact that I know near to nothing about Asia does make it a bit of a challenge, but I say: bring it on! Another big plus: we will also be taking a field trip to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I’ve been to The Hague before to visit the National Archives, The Peace Palace and the ICTY (and Annemerel of course, also important ;)), but the Ministry will be a first for me. I’m excited!

Things I ♥’d this week

I finished reading a great book this week: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s autobiography. In it she tells us about her life and she also raises a lot of interesting points that are still VERY relevant today. I’m always amazed at how, after I’ve read these kind of books, it makes me think about the world and how the knowledge I gain from it turns out to be very applicable in real life discussions. Of course I’m always reading these sort of books the way I would read every other publication; with a healthy dose of skepticism. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be valuable knowledge! ♥ “We are the Millers” was way funnier than I thought it would be. No masterpiece, but entertaining nonetheless. ♥ Australia’s Next Top Model started again, yay! It’s the only cycle I still watch. Beautiful girls and photoshoots. ♥ Wednesday evening I went out for an icecream with a friend (my boyfriend was still at school :( he makes such long hours) and while we were driving along the coast we saw the most beautiful sky. I just had to get out and take a picture! It took me a bit longer than I thought (god, that was some steep hill leading me to the beach) and yes, the pictures turned out way less beautiful than I wanted them to be, but wow, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Above you can see my attempt to capture it. ♥ I’ve been a bit obsessed with Louise of sprinkleofglitter. I love her videos! Especially her “heart to heart” ones. She seems to be such a sweet and honest person. She also has a cute blog. ♥ Thursday I met up with Nathalie for a picnic along the water. It was great to catch up with her and somehow picnics are even better along the water, right?

And, because this of course would not be complete without a song:

It’s by Lorde and is called “Royals” :)

Have a great weekend everyone! xoxo

Posted in daily musings,, nonsensical references, tunes, university | 18 Comments

Instagram, Willy Wonka & my life

I’m sure you already know this, but just in case you haven’t heard: everyone is allowed to have feelings and I am a woman, so I have them a lot, ok? About everything! Yes, even about something as futile as Instagram. Mixed feelings to be exact. On the one hand I think it’s a ridiculous way to be even more self-absorbed than on facebook. A collection of a hundred instagram pictures of your daily food intake and some awkward mirror shots? HOW GREAT! I think this picture sums it up perfectly, thank you Wonka. But, let’s not be a party-pooper. On the other hand I also have very warm fuzzy feelings for instagram. It’s really fun to have a little diary on you phone, filled with cute pictures of your life. And hey, did you know: you too can now have a glamourous life! Instagram makes everything look like it costs a million bucks and instantely turns everyone into a supermodel.

I also like to think of Instagram as a great go to for the lazy blog masses. It’s a perfect way to let your visitors know about your day or week, without doing any extra work. Well, sort of. Because I’m a perfectionist, and it usually takes me about two hours to decide which pictures should be next to each other. But otherwise, it can be very quick! You may consider this post a demonstration of said fact.

Drinking coffee with my boyfriend in town – Not knowing what to wear and always ending up in the same old boring outfit – Haarlem, “my town” for the past 3 years, time flies! – Breakfast in bed with a latte caramel and yoghurt with swedish cereal, yum!

On monday I met up with Annemerel in The Hague to shoot some pictures, shop and drink tea. It was a lot of fun! Also spotted some important politicians, but of course I tried to act ~cool~ so I refrained myself from acting all fangirly, THANK GOD – Yesterday I felt like dressing up preppy. My boyfriend always laughs at me when I say this, but I’m sort of bummed out that I was never able to wear a schooluniform. I watch too much Gilmore Girls…

My current desktop background. I love the Virgin Suicides! Really need to do a post on that one, hmm… – This weekend I went over to Nathalie for some WINE and dine. We now have this theory that we should start the day with one glass, and then all will be fine ;-)

Whenever I look out of our window, I see this beautiful orange tree. I never really loved fall, but this year I’m really feeling it. – Probably my favorite outfit at the moment. Did only wear it once in two weeks, so I’m doing good people.

Oh, and yes, I’m just throwing it out there: I decided to quit school, it just wasn’t for me. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’m glad with this decision. To prevent myself from dying with boredom, I try to fill my days with lot’s of fun stuff to keep me busy and of course I’m already thinking about which step I want to take next. Today I’m going to Utrecht to find out more about a Master I am interested in. If I’m lucky I will be able to start school again in february. Only 3 months to kill… musn’t be a problem ;-)

Posted in daily musings, girl stuff,, stupid pictures, university | 22 Comments

About pink fluffy pens and covering your text-books

By the look of my text-books (click on the sentence if you want to see them, I made it a hyperlink, whoooo), you’d probably think I need some professional help. Covering your text-books and sticking everything together with tape that has flowers on them? And you’re what, a fifth year university student? 1 Yes, it does look a little crazy. But come on, I can’t possibly be the only person on earth who is a little crazy, has an obsession with cute stationary and who thinks Elle Wood kicks ass. Right?

For the few people who are not acquainted with Elle Wood, let me tell you something about her. She is a Harvard law student, wears a lot of pink, uses pink fluffy pens, and although most people consider her to be a dumb blonde, she TOTALLY kicks ass (and yes, she’s fictional, but that’s beside the point). Although the story of the movie Legally Blonde isn’t something new (and of course a bit cliché), I do love it, because for me it is about female empowerment. Who says you can’t be “womanly” in a very “manly” and “serious” profession? I don’t want to wear a pink suit to work (I look awful in pink!!), but I do want to have the option. Being a woman and loving all the stuff that comes with it (if you feel like it), doesn’t mean you’re not serious about your education or work. So, when I felt like covering my text-book and using my big pink pen, I thought about Elle, and I just did. If Elle can do it, I can do it! ;-) And now I have cute books!

(Of course, covering my text-books with cute paper is not a big political statement or a way of spreading the above message, I just love pretty things. It did give me a good excuse to watch this funny movie again and it also gave me a good idea of how to react when someone will comment on my pink pen ;-) Like Elle says when someone makes a snarky comment about her pink suit: “I like your outfit too, except when I dress up as a frigid bitch, I try not to look so constipated”. Good idea right? Haha! Just kidding. Oh, and of course it was a great excuse to make a small collage. Yay!)

Show 1 footnote

  1. Hey! At least I didn’t buy the cute sparkly stickers that originally came with it, so give me some credit!
Posted in daily musings, girl stuff, granny hobby, university | 16 Comments

oh, hi, yes, this whole blogging-thing? it takes some getting used to again

Well, the title says it all. This whole blogging-thing takes some getting used to again! And, yes, I know that sounds like a lame excuse, but I actually hope to shower you guys with good news (at least for me) & then maybe you will all be amazed and totally forget that I forgot to share my private life 24/7 with you for the past couple of weeks. Ok, not that I usually do that… I just really want to share this news with you. Anyway, here we go.

YES! MOTHAF… oops, I’m sorry, I got a bit carried away. But you have to understand: this thing ruled my life for the last one and a half years. I got the idea for my thesis at the beginning of my third year at uni (also already found a supervisor back then) and ever since, it was in the back of my mind. I took a fourth year to complete my bachelors, because I really wanted to go on an exchange to Sweden (and hello, more time to gain even more knowledge, YES PLEASE), which was fine, but man, that thesis… it caused a lot of stress. It’s true what they say: just write that damn thing and be done with it! Of course, instead of writing it when I had the time, I finished the first draft during my exchange (fun, let me tell you! but not really). When I got home four weeks ago, it turned out that my supervisor had a big problem with one of my chapters, so I had to rewrite it. With a BIG deadline looming, saying “it was stressful” was a bit of an understatement to say the least. But I did it! And during the final talk with my supervisor two weeks ago I got a lot of compliments (‘wha… you think I’m intelli.., wha… are you talking about me?!’). So yes, big relieve there. In the end I can say it was all worth it! I finally feel “free”! It also means I’ve graduated and got my bachelors degree! (For the people who are interested: my bachelor thesis was about the head-prosecutor of the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, with a focus on Carla del Ponte and how her term at the tribunal showed us a lot about the interaction between international justice and politics. I won’t bore you with the specifics.)

This whole blogging-thing is something, but can we please talk about this whole “future-thing”?! Am I the only one who’s having troubles with this one? After four years at uni I still don’t know for sure what I want to do. I’m slowly coming to terms with that fact that I probably won’t have an epiphany and decide I want to be a life-saving Florence Nightingale II, go all ‘Sister Act’ and devote my life to god, or dedicate my life to the exploration of some boring archive. That’s why I’ve decided to think ahead only one year at a time. Or maybe two. Works for me! After some soul-searching about next year, I came to the conclusion I didn’t want to leave university just yet, but that going for my masters felt a bit too soon (the fact that the choice of masters in my field is a bit limited was a big part of that). Instead, I wanted to try to get into criminology and… I GOT IN (ba-dum-pum-pum – I guess the big headline was a bit of a spoiler). It means I’ll probably study for one year at Leiden University (for the international people: yes, that’s near Amsterdam, like the rest of the Netherlands) and after that I have a few more choices concerning masters. Don’t get me wrong: I would love to get a whole bachelorsdegree in criminology, but the dutch government made that nearly impossible for me. This way I get to follow a lot of interesting courses and gain 60 ECTS in another field of science. I’m really excited!

After getting the good news about my thesis and getting into uni again, I can finally relax. The last two weeks I’ve been enjoying my free time and the good weather, and I’ve also been dancing a lot to this (I don’t like to brag, but I’m just SO HAPPY about being finished with my thesis and I believe these things require victory dances). (If you don’t do victory dances, you should introduce them into your life, trust me!).

(hip hip, regular updating can now, once again, commence!)

Posted in daily musings, university | 11 Comments