16 April 2019

“The first year of study has brought me a lot”

Studying at University College Utrecht means plenty of possibilities, and the need to make choices. First year student Jelle Honing elaborates on how he has found his own direction.

Native of Amsterdam, Jelle went to a secondary school in the city. After finishing school, he, like many young people, was left with the world open to him. There were just too many possibilities for studying. Jelle decided to take a step back and allow himself some time.

“After secondary school, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I took a gap year, during which I did volunteer work in Ecuador and travelled around South America. That brought me a lot of experience, as it was the first time I was really on my own and had to organize my life independently. Without that year, I don’t think I would be able to study like I do now.”

“When I had my interview as part of the application, I think it was my interest in many different things and motivation to do a broad study that counted, so that I got a place here. I am glad I did, as this year has brought me a lot, also in terms of new friendships and experiences. There is always a lot going on, and I find the University College Utrecht community caring, loving, and fun. I am happy to be able to contribute to it by being a member of the sports committee Hermes, which is just one of the about 40 different committees.”

“I first heard from university colleges from a friend who studied at one of them. I chose for University College Utrecht because of the curriculum, but also the campus was an important factor. It is an unique environment to study and live. When I then started here last August and took part in the intro week activities, I was very impressed by everything happening here. It was actually a bit overwhelming, as you really feel that you are somewhere special, and that the college has something special to offer.”

“At school, I did OK, but I was not a super motivated student and my grades were not that high. University College Utrecht has changed my attitude completely. What I now like most is to study, and I find most courses extremely interesting. In the beginning, I had only a vague idea that I might want to combine Humanities and Social Sciences, but I certainly had no clear direction yet.”

Jelle meeting with his tutor Annemieke Meijer

“What I really appreciate is how understanding and supportive the lecturers and my tutor are of the modelling work I do on the side. Once a while, I need to skip classes for a job assignment, but it has never been an issue. My tutor is a great help in this, as I often need to puzzle with my timetable. I can email her whenever I have a question, and she shows me how to organize my course work. Managing deadlines is something I still have to learn to master.”

“The courses I have taken until now and the talks with my tutor have clarified the picture, and I am now thinking of taking the Double Degree in Law. This would mean an extra year of study, but I think it will be worth it, as I will then have two Bachelor degrees, one in Liberal Arts and Sciences and another one in Law. That gives me plenty of possibilities for the future.”