The U-Today survival guide for freshmen, part 1

| Rense Kuipers , Jelle Posthuma

Welcome, freshmen! For a flying start at this university, we'll help you get started with this handy handbook. Because for a well-informed 'sjaars', no challenge is too harsh. Read part 1 below.


Essential guide

We are not going to tire you in this article with a longread of tips & tricks for first-year students. For those who want to prepare themselves more thoroughly, you would do well to take a look at our 'Essential guide to studying in Enschede' (2019 and 2020, a special corona edition). In it, you'll read about the UnionCard, cycling, avoiding unnecessarily high rent costs and where to drink the best coffee, among other things.

Explore this big little village

Many compare the campus to a big village, for which there is quite a lot to be said. It too has its own little supermarket, a bicycle repair shop, a hairdresser, a pub and a Starbucks and Subway restaurant.

And like every village, Drienerlo has its own terms, mores, phenomena, traditions and tomfoolery. Get lost in the Cubicus, walk through the woods (or Teletubbie Land), see burning benches near the campus houses, stumble upon the NanoLab's bicycle pump (a lifesaver for many), a drinks or dragon basement, an Esports Lounge, washing machines (under the Bastille) or prayer rooms (in the Vrijhof).

Be a kitchen prince(ss)

Popping in for that Old Dutch stew or mum's Beşbarmaq is out of the question for now. For many, studying means standing on your own two feet - yes, even in the kitchen. You don't have to speedrun 24Kitchen to crown yourself kitchen prince(s). Our shameless viewing tip: the vlogs of Rianne, our cooking vlogger of yesteryear, to master preparing pasta pesto (a student classic), cola chicken, wrap dishes and easy rice smurry (a future student classic), among others.

P.S. At the opening market, we will hand out Rianne's Recipes Cookbooks!

No time/mindset to cook for yourself? Then you don't even have to go off campus. Throw in some frikandel sandwiches and energy drinks at the Coop. Or opt for a less toxic alternative: you can get pokébowls at Frosty's in the Bastille. A little further on, opposite the Vrijhof library entrance, there is a pizza vending machine since this summer. And of course there is always the good old mensa kitchen in the Waaier, where you can get a proper meal for 5.50 euros.

Senior tips: be open, look after yourself and Strepsils

Trying everything, a box of Strepsils and paying attention to the first maths subject: just some tips from senior students to you, the Kick-In-kiddo. Last year, U-Today asked five UT mastodons about their own experiences during the introduction week. Because who knows better than these experienced students?

The ink on your high school diploma has only just dried when you enter the green meadows of Drienerlo for the Kick-In opening fair. That can be quite overwhelming. According to the five senior students, there is only one way to deal with it: let it wash over you, be open to as many things as possible and immerse yourself in all the beauty Twente student life has to offer.

But watch yourself a bit too, the mastodons warn. 'No' is also an option. Watch out with substance abuse and put on a ‘jacket’ at the moment of truth. Today's life has enough stimuli. Students are always 'on'; FOMO lurks. Therefore, build in enough moments of rest. For good reason the Kick-In committee will have a rest day on Sunday for more 'breathing space'. Great idea, right? Put on a pair of U-Today shades (available for free pick-up at the Opening Fair) and leave things as they are on Sunday. It's okay to be a snowflake (dixit Caroline van der Plas) every once in a while.

Associations: the choices are endless

Associations unite people. And that is exactly what the multitude of associations at this university try to do, each in their own way and with their own accent. The UT has more than a hundred different associations in the fields of study, sport, culture, entrepreneurship, 'gezelligheid' (better start learning that word)... You have to try hard not to find an association that suits you.

Just looking at the letter A, you can choose from Pakkerij associations Audentis, Alpha, AEGEE-Enschede and A.S.V. Taste, for example. On the sports front, you have go-karting association A La Kart, triathlon association Aloha, martial arts association Arashi and basketball association Arriba. On the cultural front, you have dance association Arabesque and cultural umbrella Apollo. For Catholic students, there is Ariëns Katholieke Studenten Enschede, ambitious female students can join Ambitious Women UT, and international student associations come in the form of AFRISA (Africa) and ACSSE (China). And then we almost forgot study associations Arago, Abacus, Alembic, Astatine and Atlantis....

In short, from dance association to ladies' fraternity, from 'klonkiebal' association De Klocus to Klein Verzet (cycling): the choice is vast. You will get to know some of them a little better in our regular series 'United'.

Stay tuned

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