To start off, the first day is always overwhelming. I still remember that I felt extremely excited but yet scared when I was on my way to get the most important thing on an early morning; coffee.
Unlike most of you, I’m not a new student in Groningen. So, to hopefully make your first days/weeks a little bit easier, I’m going to share things that are good to know for all the newcomers and I’m going to share a little bit of my experience with you!
Making friends after you just said goodbye to your best friends you had for years back home probably seems impossible. Connecting and getting close to people again is difficult, especially when you know you’re going to leave them again. However, Groningen is full of interesting and nice people and whether it is at university, ESN, in your student house, or on a night out, you will for sure find people to hang out with and you won’t have to feel lonely!
I used to help around the house, do groceries and tidy my room, but living on your own is a whole new level of responsibility. Cause, really, the only person who can and must do certain things is *surprise* you. Cooking might be something you will have to learn since you can’t just eat instant noodles and frozen pizzas every day. Besides that, you will have to make sure that your bills are paid on time, look after your bike, and most importantly yourself.
Nowadays, our phones are more important than ever, so let me provide you with the best apps to make your daily life easier!
9292: the main public transport app, will even show you which way you have to walk!
Buienalarm: for the unpredictable Dutch weather.
Maps: to help you find your way on your bike. DISCLAIMER: make sure NOT to use your phone and wear earplugs instead so you can just listen to the directions!
Albert Heijn/Jumbo: these apps will help you with saving money. Both apps have a separate section with all the current discounts.
Thuisbezorgd/Uber Eats: you will probably spend a lot of money on these apps because they both deliver food from the nicest restaurants in Groningen.
One of the biggest student struggles is being broke yet always in need of money. And when you’re on your own, keeping up with your monthly budget is much harder than it seems. Starbucks coffee, ordering food, alcohol, and shopping all seem very appealing until you’re down to your last cents, eating cup noodles and waiting for the new month to come around. Make a plan of how much you can and will spend on things and try to stick to it – and even if you do it for only a few months it will help you get a better overview of how much things cost and where you can save up.
Before coming to Groningen you’ve probably read every manual there is on the internet for students and you tried to prepare yourself as well as you could. This doesn’t mean that you might feel intimidated by all the new things that you’re facing. Although everyone you meet might seem all organized and like they are always enjoying their student life, this might be not the case! So, talk about it. It is completely understandable that you might feel overwhelmed by all the new impressions. After being a student for a while now, I can tell you that people are just as big of a mess as you’re and everyone is struggling, which is totally OK! Just know that you’re not alone, we’re all in this together!
2nd year International Communication Student
President PR & Graphics Committee