A Column by Alumni

Roeland van Beek, class of 2011

No more classes, ever. No more studying, and no more exams. Suddenly, I was sitting in an office for forty hours a week, doing a thesis internship. Having had homework on my to-do list for over ten years, free evenings seemed a paradise. I was looking forward to this internship a lot.

It’s not as easy as it sounded though. Yes, I do get more work done than I ever have before, and when I bike home at five, I’m done. Nevertheless, all the things I used to do throughout the day I now have to do some other time. Groceries, cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry and answering all kinds of emails quickly fill up the evening; having to go somewhere at night effectively kills my free time for an entire day.

With colleagues who like to start work at 6.30, the once horribly early 9 o’clock has now become a time for the lazier. But getting up early means going to bed before my friends have finished studying – and there goes my social life. Well, at least my weekends now have plenty of time in them, but then all the other people have to do their solitary procrastination (homework, they say).

Still, I’m finally part of the real world, and I have a ProRail access card to prove it. Every day, I’m working with people who adjust the timetable with their bare hands. I’m in an office and it rarely stops exciting me.

Luckily, there’s Sodexo catering at ProRail for when I do miss my old world. Not the paranoid kind that scares thieves by making them remember no fewer than six digits, but one with cash registers where people can check out their own meal. Really, everything is different out here.


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