Most of the covid measures were lifted at the end of February. From that moment, old school partying returned to the student associations after a two-year absence. This new freedom delights students but also means they must find a proper balance between studying and partying.
‘We must protect mainly the younger students who would prefer to go out every day, from themselves’, says SSR-W chair Anne van der Molen. She explains that some still need to learn how to handle alcohol and get to know their threshold. ‘They never had the opportunity to go out regularly and are only now discovering what that entails. This was always the case for new first-year students, but the situation is more poignant now because of corona.’
One of the SSR-W board members serves as a contact person for first-year students. ‘They monitor how these students are doing, whether they experience issues or suffer from peer pressure to consume alcohol. We are not their parents, but the more senior students do have a responsibility. For example, we strive to refrain from planning major activities or parties during study and exam weeks.’
The old pub life was revived at WSV Ceres shortly after the covid measures were lifted, says chair Sil Penders. ‘During the first weeks, everyone was ecstatic, but you get used to it rather quickly.’ What still requires some getting used to by the members is how to plan their lives now, Penders says. ‘The entire daily structure was different for quite some time due to the pandemic. We want to enjoy life to the fullest, but hangovers and sleep deprivation affect our studies. Students must reinvent how to manage their studies and pub life. We need to find our bearings.’
You want to say “yes” to everything, but that is simply not possible with a full-time educationDjoeke Dankloff
At KSV Franciscus, it is almost as if students want to make up for two years of practically no parties. Chair Djoeke Dankloff: ‘It has been so long since people were able to enjoy experiences that they want to miss nothing. Understandable, but this could affect your grades. You want to say “yes” to everything, but that is simply not possible with full-time education. You must find the correct balance between studying and your association for a successful combination. We hope senior students will share their experiences and help the more junior students.’
Abundant partying calls for some adjusting, Dankloff admits. ‘On the one hand, going out consumes energy, but on the other, it makes you more energetic. Students are happy to meet without having to consider the covid measures.’
Whether there is a relation between the reopening of pubs and the disappointing turnout for campus lectures is not known. Ceres-chair Penders sees it as a possibility. ‘People have become so accustomed to following lectures online that they may now feel: I have done this for two years, and it worked fine, so if I can catch a lecture online, I can sleep in for another hour and switch on my laptop just before the start of the lecture. Understandable, really.’