‘You suffer a little, but it is all worth it’

| Jelle Posthuma

A new batch of students will start the Kick-In this week. And who better to learn from than from seasoned seniors? Five experienced students give the ultimate tips for the introduction. ‘Get carried away, be open and try as many things as possible.’

Stijn Berendse (24), Master’s student in Business Information Technology, former chairman of rowing club Euros

My Kick-In: ‘Pfff, that was a while ago... I remember walking around the opening market like a lost ‘sjaars’ (freshman, ed.) and seniors pulling us on all sides. At the end of the day, I walked around with a bag full of stickers and yet I knew nothing. Still, I tried to go everywhere and think a bit ‘out of the box’. I even paid a visit to the motor club stall. I thought: I am a student now and I will do everything that used to be impossible or disallowed.’

Tips: ‘Be sure to get a little carried away during the Kick-In. Get in touch with as many people as possible and try out as many things as possible. In Enschede, it is especially important that you find your own group, for example at an association. If you study alone, you will not experience the real student life. Every student must also have stood in ’t Gat in the markt at least once. And eating the ‘heart-attack’ burger at Ji-Nos on the Oude Markt is an absolute must.’

Emma de Weger (22), Bachelor’s student in Management, Society & Technology, board member at study association Sirius

My Kick-In: ‘A lot happens during the introduction. I especially liked the events that are unique to the Kick-In. The parties are fun, but they are present throughout the year too. As a student, you experience the Storming of the Bastille just once.’

Tips: ‘You do not have to do everything. If you miss something, it will come later in the academic year. You will receive a lot of information, and you really do not have to remember it all. Try to approach people during the Kick-In, be open. That is pretty scary at first, but that goes for everyone. If you get to know new people, you will recognize their faces during the first lecture of the year. That also makes your study a lot more fun.’

(Photo: Storming of the Bastille in 2013)

Hidde Zijlstra (24), Master’s student in Business Administration, member of AEGEE and ‘host’ of various UT events.

My Kick-In: ‘I remember it very well, standing in the queue for the freshman wristband at the campus entrance. No one from my high school went to Twente, so I was all alone. Once I walked onto campus, it felt like a warm blanket. It was overwhelming. Immediately, a sticker-sticking mob of senior students approached us. The competition for new members had begun. I had no expectations for the Kick-In; I went in completely open, something I would like to pass on to the first-year students as well. Do not limit yourself, be open to new experiences and try as many things as possible. The Kick-In only lasts a week and a half. If you think something is terrible, you will know it for the rest of your student life.’

Tips: ‘An absolute must-do is the Pakkerij in the city centre of Enschede, where all the student associations are located. I actually did not want to join a student association because of all the bad stories in the news. Ultimately, during the introduction, I visited AEGEE, where I became a member. I have not regretted that for a moment. It is also advisable to buy a pack of Strepsils for the first week of study because, after a few weeks of partying, everyone will have the so-called ‘Kick-In tyfus’. Most UT students also have a general mathematics course in the first semester. I would keep up with that course, because before you know it you will be hopelessly behind. Do not underestimate it unless you are a true math genius.’

(Photo: Pool Party in 2019)

Jasper Asbreuk (21), Bachelor’s student in Management, Society & Technology, active at Erasmus Student Network Twente (ESN)

My Kick-In: ‘It was a euphoric time. I remember just coming back from a festival and going straight to the Kick-In. It was a bit rough, but it was worth it. I participated in all activities. I especially remember the cantus. As an international, it was a completely new experience and a unique introduction to Dutch student culture.’

Tips: ‘I have five, haha. Is that okay? Alright, here they come.’

  1. ‘Try to do as much as possible during the introduction, do not be lazy. But watch yourself; the Kick-In can be a rough week.
  2. Be open to new things and open yourself up.
  3. Do not be discouraged by rejection; it is not personal. Stay friendly and well-mannered and you will find the right friends eventually.
  4. Become a member of a fitting association. This is the best way to meet new people in Enschede with the same interests. Personally, that is how I met my best friends.
  5. I do not say this as an marketing speech, but for international students, ESN Twente is a very good starting place. We can add you to WhatsApp groups, where fellow students for example share tips for events and activities. For internationals, it is an ideal way to find suitable places and people.’

Puck Kemper (24), Master’s student in Interaction Technology, former Uraad member and bartender at the Vestingbar

My Kick-In: ‘I am a seventh-year, so it has been quite a while, but for me, it was mostly making fun all day and night. I remember that as a do-group, we met every morning at the large letters on campus. That is quite a struggle after a long night. Yes, you will suffer a little during the Kick-In, but it is worth it. Above all, let it happen! As a do-group, we have become a group of close friends. Every year we still organize a weekend together, including the new sjaars.’

Tips: ‘It is important that you ultimately choose for yourself. It can be fun to join the same club as a friend from your hometown, but it is even better to make your own choice. Choose what you like, and you will only find out by trying as many things as possible. I can also recommend the Vestingbar. And of course, no student in Enschede should miss the Batavierenrace later in the year.’

(Photo: Introduction concert on the Oude Markt in 2015)

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