My first and last student room

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (24) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

Photo by: Annabel Jeuring

Starting my Master thesis, I am at the end of my time here at the UT. It is almost time to pack my bags and search for another place to live. Exciting, but also nerve-wrecking. Which makes me think about the time I had just arrived in Enschede.

Not knowing yet about the deadlines and exams about to be hitting me soon, finding a room was the most pressing issue. At first, I had followed the advice to put myself on the waiting list for housing for international students. It was only a couple of weeks before the academic year would start for me. A few hundred people still preceded me on this list. Now, people can just easily sign up for a single-person apartment at Camelot. But I had to search for other options and directly applied for different student rooms.

Fortunately, I had been invited to three houses on campus. The first house had three applicants for two rooms. A jury of 12 students listened attentively to our answers. In the end, I was chosen over the student from overseas. I guess there is a reason for the long waiting list for international students.

Arriving 45 minutes too late at the second house, I was greeted by chaos. No one kept track of the times or names. People were being interviewed while others received a house tour at the same time. A constant stream of people entering and leaving the room. I was offered a beer, declined and was asked a few questions about my hobbies and what kitchen utensil I mostly felt like. I kindly declined the room and went on the third house.

Here, I accepted the offered beer and joined the large circle of 13 waiting residents. The questions were light and felt more like a conversation than an interview. At almost midnight, I went back to my hotel room in order to process the events of the night, I eventually accepted the first room for a subletting period of half a year.

After a while, I had enough of sharing my living space with others. That is why I am currently living in my own apartment. I guess everyone feels a bit nervous about moving to a new and unknown place after their study. I am nervous about what the future holds, for sure. But at the same time, I am almost certain that nothing can surprise me anymore after living in a student house.