Even though I’m going to spend at least three more months in Wageningen – the entire summer – the last few weeks I’ve been slowly freaking out about the eventual leaving. Partly because I still don’t know what I’ll be doing after my internship ends and I graduate. Partly because leaving Wageningen itself is largely inevitable, and it is going to suck.Everyone keeps asking, ‘so, what’s next?’ And every time they do I’m hoping for the ground to open up and swallow me whole, so that I don’t have to squirm my way out of that question. Would I like to stay in the Netherlands? Yes, I think I would. Maybe it’s convenient and familiar, maybe I really like living here, maybe I’m not ready to leave. Do I want to go back to Lithuania? Yes, maybe, no.
There are a lot of reasons why I am not super eager to move back. One of those being that I’d essentially would have to build anew my entire social circle. True, most of my family lives in Lithuania and I have lots of acquaintances there – but no close group of friends. That’s what terrifies me – how do people make friends, meet someone when they move someplace ‘new’ and they are not students anymore?
Partly because leaving Wageningen itself is largely inevitable, and it is going to suck.
When I went on my Australian adventure last autumn – less as a student but more as a researcher – ‘making friends’ was nowhere near the top of my worries. (Avoiding spiders and snakes were definitely higher on that list.) And yes, I did feel rather lonely the first two weeks there, but I eventually got more proactive and it all worked out! I guess that is the lesson here – with time and effort things will get better, whatever the new place.Overall, the thought of moving (again!) come September is thrilling, but also exhausting. But, friends will also start graduating and moving away soon, as they should. As good as it is now, it simply can’t and won’t last. Wow, just when you thought this couldn’t get any more depressing… But it’s relatable, isn’t it? Apparently, more and more people choose to stay in Wageningen, but still a much larger percentage leave – go back to their home countries, move elsewhere within the Netherlands or go on their own foreign adventures. So it only makes sense for me to move (on) too.But first I will enjoy the hell of the summer here! Just don’t ask what I’m doing next. When I know, I will shout it from the rooftops.
Kristina is a second year student MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.
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