The next step

It's time for the next step. After finishing my bachelor's International Business in June, it's time to start the next chapter in my studying career: a master's program. Tomorrow is September 1st, which means that it's the official start of the new academic year. Therefore I thought it would be the perfect moment to reflect back on the past few years and do write down my expectations about the master's.

The past four years
It's been a wild ride, starting my bachelor's program in 2015 at the University of Groningen. This was a new start in a new city, but before I knew it I was on the way, joining the sailing association where I did two committees. After two years in Groningen I went to Kedge Business School for a year where I had the chance to do a double degree program, focussing on marketing. In Bordeaux I joined the french association Kedger Network, and built my first personal website. Through my studies I had the amazing opportunity to follow an internship at PepsiCo after coming back from Bordeaux. Here I had my first real practical experience in a company. Finally I went back to Groningen to write my thesis on cultural intelligence.

The future
The future is always a very abstract idea, but that's also what makes it exciting. What's the point in life if you already know everything that's going to happen?
My expectations for my master's degree, Business Information Management are high. It should be great to move a bit further towards computer science. I've been programming for quite a while already, first building a game, then building websites and finally building an app. So far it's been in my free-time, but it's an exciting idea that I'll finally be able to up my game to a more professional level now, combining it with my bachelor's education.

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8 / 19

Never expected, but happily done

In life there are some things you just don't expect to happen. As I've said before, I used to be on this website called tumblr, on this magical website I've stumbled upon a few people with who I'm still in touch. One of these people is Joe. Joe lives in Oregon, far away from everything and everyone I know. I think I can surely say that both of us never expected that we would ever be able to see eachother in person, at least not any time soon.

But then this opportunity arose. A roadtrip across the south west United States, starting in San Francisco. The first thing I did after everything was booked was notifiying Joe about coming at least somewhat closer, even though San Francisco is still hundreds of kilometers away from Ashland.

And then. I still cannot believe it, he said that he'd be going on vacation in San Francisco in the exact same period as I'd be there. Meeting new people is an incredible experience; there is so much to learn from every other person. But I honestly have to say that there is one better thing; meeting people you know already. People who've you've talked to, skyped with through the internet, but never seen in person. It's like adding a fourth dimension to reality. The image you've had of this person starts to change, and in the end it's fantastic.

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1 / 18

Restart

It's weird. Arriving back home and realizing that everything is different. This is what happened to me this last week when I arrived back in Bordeaux after the Christmas holidays. It's not that the city itself changed that much; the buildings are all still the same, the people here are still speaking French and the local supermarkt still sells baguettes.

No, what changed for me are the people. Since I'm a foreigner within the business school here, the direct people around me are mainly foreign students on an exchange. It's not that I prefer to be around exchange students, but it just happens so. When you're both from another country, you are generally closer connected since you're both outside your comfort zone. Both going through the same feelings of being far away from family, friends and the general familiar atmosphere.

There is a risk to this. Mostly, exchange students only stay for a semester. I am staying here in Bordeaux for a year. Even though I'm in love with the city, it's strange to come back here without a large portion of the friends I made last semester. Most of them went back to their home countries, home universities, or continued their adventures across the world.

So for me, a restart it is.

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1 / 18

Madrid in five hours

Don't even think about doing it - Madrid in five hours. This city deserves so much more attention. But there I was, on this beautiful december day with a five hours to kill in Madrid. It was perfect, I had never been there before, and there was time left between the arrival of my airplane and the time that my train would leave at the train station. And so I went for it.

First of all, why did I have five hours to kill in Madrid? Well, I was on my way from Bordeaux to Pamplona. Any sane person with a geographical idea of where those two places are would say that it's kind of illogical to fly to Madrid to later on the day take the train to Pamplona, but for some reason it was actually cheaper to do it this way, plus I would have the opportunity to see something of Madrid. Plus, overall, the total time in a moving verhicule would be about the same time.

When I got of the plane in Madrid, the first thing I heard at the airport was Dutch. It was a strange experience, I don't really expect it anymore. In Bordeaux there are barely any Dutch people; in my past three months here I've seen a total of one Dutch car in the city. Maybe it's because it's been autumn, and Bordeaux is not so much warmer than autumn in the Netherlands. I walked through the enormous hall; following the signs to the metro. The day before, I had figured out all the places to go to with my friend Marcos, who actually is from Madrid. In my mind I had connected all these places to make a logical route, starting from the Gran Vía, to Plaza Puerta del Sol and then to Palacio Real. It was the 28th of December, and it was so warm; I had to rest. The gardens next to the palace were simply perfect. The Sabatini gardens are beautiful and quiet; perfect for reading a book or just to enjoy the weather.

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12 / 17

Now

If you think about now, then what do you think of? Isn't it weird how the 'now' you just lived in has made space for a new 'now' already? Now seems like the most normal thing - but it is actually one of the most abstract ideas we have in life. You can't simply live in the now, since it passed so quickly. It's right on the border of the past and the future, but still we can experience it for some reason.

If there were no now, there would be no border between the past and the future, there would be nothing. We would not be able to experience anything, not be able to do things. So even though now does not seem to exist, it does really exist at the exact same time.

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12 / 17

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