“Time will fly before you start to notice,” was what my parents used to tell me right before I started my university journey. Of course, I am well aware of that, and I am sure you also do. However, it doesn’t prevent me from experiencing lingering regretful sentiments when I finally admit that the journey as a IBCoM student of myself and more than two hundred students is reaching the end. With some newly-found free time after the bachelor thesis, I sat down for some reflection. Allow me to walk you through the experience of a IBCoM student.
As a first-year student, everything is new and exciting as you are beginning to spend three whole years with individuals from all corners around the world. You are on campus almost every day for lectures and small-group tutorials. You can come across almost everybody for a quick catch-up at lecture halls. You have to complete several team assignments which put your teamwork skill to the test, simply because you are doing an International bachelor, hence multiculturalism is a prominent aspect.
The second year of IBCoM begins and you are now able to tailor your study program to your personal choices. Focus areas and electives, some students said this is by far the best part of IBCoM since it allows them to dive deeper into what they are truly passionate about. You only have a few lectures to attend compared to the first year, while your in-class contact increases as you spend most of your time in tutorial and seminar discussions. Gradually, you start to notice that you meet some peers more similar to you than others due to the same focus areas of interest that you share. Certainly, the second year would be incomplete if we leave out the internship. This is when you can finally apply what you learn into practice, while “testing the waters” to see whether your chosen area of expertise is a good fit. The second year is exciting still, with a different tone following the journey of discovering your true passion.
Once again, before you know it, you are already a third-year student and soon-to-be graduate. Occasionally, you still have classes since there remains a few final credits to obtain. You are occupied by literature, written papers, and your biggest individual project – your bachelor thesis. Quickly enough, a lecture meeting attended by two hundred students is replaced by one-on-one meetings with your academic supervisor. Mixed among your excitement to finish your bachelor with a bang, is anticipation and uncertainty. You start to wonder what you should do with your future, especially for my international peers out there, starting to wonder whether they should say their final goodbyes to the Netherlands yet.
Yes, time flies. Three years ago, I doubted that I had picked the right program. At the moment, I grew to enjoy the ups and downs that it brought. The undergraduate journey sure had given us such mixed feelings. Sometimes it is stressful, sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is painful that you wish it could all be over by tomorrow, because it is already 3 am but you still have a few chapters to go over before your morning exam. But sometimes you wish it never had to end because all the friends and the memories you made along the journey are priceless.
It’s time to close the door to our university self, but open the door to endless possibilities that our future awaits. Class of 2021, we did it! After graduation, where is your next destination?
Author: Rachel Nguyen
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Ira Lizenko