Ik Student
Universiteit Amsterdam
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‘As long as I don’t attempt suicide, I’m all right’


‘I’m very stressed about the subjects I still have to pass: that’s difficult. It’s a part of me though. I find it difficult to accept that things are the way they are.’


In secondary school I went through some shitty times as well. I would wonder why the fuck I was doing it all. If you’re a bit of an outcast and the pupils don’t like you, then that can be rough. I was in a class with a lot of losers, that’s what it was. I wanted to graduate to get out of there, so I worked my tail off.’


‘I can get angry about all sorts of things. I get too worked up for my own good. And then I don’t sleep well. I wake up a hundred times during the night. And then I’m just dead tired the next day.’

Ida (21) feels like an outcast sometimes, she can get very angry about things, she stresses about subjects she hasn’t passed yet and she lives in constant fear of debt collection agencies. ‘Living alone isn’t so easy. When I get home, I like to have somebody to complain to.’

After secondary school Ida was accepted into the Rotterdam art academy. ‘But I definitely didn’t want to live in Rotterdam, that’s one big ghetto. That’s why I went to Utrecht. But that wasn’t the city for me either: small and parochial. The students there are all frats; not my type of student at all.’
After three years Ida decided to go to Amsterdam and switch to computer science. Now, in her first year, her studies are going reasonably well. ‘Sometimes I have a shitty day. You have to remain focussed when you’re studying. That’s difficult.

Not a bragging student
Finding her way around the faculty was difficult at first. ‘I emailed the study society and asked if someone could give me a tour. I still don’t know many people. Perhaps I’m not consciously looking to find them. I don’t really do anything with the study society. I’m not a beer guzzling, bragging student, so to speak. A while back I went bowling with some fellow students. There was me with my coke while the others were being silly with their beer. I’m slightly silly already, I don’t need beer to have a good time.’

Old enough
Ida’s parents divorced when she was ten. Until recently she didn’t see much of her father and she didn’t get along with him either. ‘Now my father still wants to bring me up. He’s always going on about the earrings I’m wearing and how I should wear my hair differently. But he should have been there for me before. Now he’ll simply have to accept me as I am. I’m twenty one and I’m giving him the finger: Fuck it. It’s my life and I’m old enough to make my own decisions.’ Ida doesn’t feel at home in her hometown. ‘There are many poorly educated Turks and white trash. Highly educated people don’t live there. All the people in the alternative scene there are layabouts who don’t want to do anything and can’t do anything, just like those annoying squatters in Amsterdam. People who don’t know me compare me to them sometimes. But I study hard and I just want a good job at the end of it.’

Debt collection agencies
Ida (21) can get very angry about things. ‘I’m very stressed about the subjects I still have to pass. It’s a part of me but it’s difficult. I find it hard to accept that things are as they are.’ She also gets nervous when organising her financial affairs. I’m afraid of debt collection agencies. I don’t open the post, because it will be another bill. That spoils my good mood, if I’m in one. I have the largest phone package there is and still I manage to exceed it. The other day I had a bill for 115 Euros.’
Sometimes Ida wonders what it’s all for. ‘But I know that if I give up studying, I’ll have to get a job. That will be the end of me. I have no qualifications so all I can do is become a checkout girl. I am fully aware of that.’

Stupid bitch
Ida has been to many psychologists throughout her life. ‘I can’t even remember how many. When I was sixteen my mother couldn’t cope with my behaviour anymore and I was sent to see a psychologist. It was some stupid bitch who had only just graduated. It didn’t help me at all.
‘I can try to find someone again and tell them my whole story again, but I’ll just get another one of those crappy ass psychologists. Dredge everything up again. There’s no point. As long as I don’t attempt suicide, I’m all right. Some days I feel better, some days I feel worse.’

On my own
Living alone isn’t always easy. ‘I had no idea what studying would be like. I just wanted to leave my parents. I was sick of them. But living alone isn’t so easy. Luckily I can sew clothes at night, without bothering anyone. That’s good. But when I get home, I’m alone. I immediately switch on the television. That says something. I just want to be able to moan at someone when I get home.’

Hoesem’s story: ‘I don’t expect much of people’
Ida’s story: ‘As long as I don’t attempt suicide, I’m all right’
Mary’s story: ‘I think about literally everything’
Marco’s story: ‘Typical for me is that I lose friends along the way’
Marianne’s story: ‘Now I will persevere, even if it takes another 20 years’
Simon’s story: ‘If you don’t live in Amsterdam, you do not really belong’

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