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Foto: Matthijs Hoek

‘This is better for me than having a gap year’

Henk Strikkers,
26 augustus 2020 - 11:37

Are the students who will start their bachelor’s study during the corona pandemic part of a ‘lost generation’? This week, we speak ten of those students about their hopes and fears. Today: Matthijs Hoek (18) who is going to study Mathematics and Physics. 

Were you in doubt about applying for university?

‘No. I never really considered a gap year. I knew that I wanted to study something like math, psysics or astronomy. Last year, I made my final choice, after going to trial study days. Due to corona, this is not the best year to start your course, of course. However, I think this is better for me than having a gap year.’

‘I am more distracted at home. On the other hand, it is a challenge and an experience’

When do you expect to visit the UvA for the first time? 

‘During the course introduction or during the first day of on-campus lectures. I will probably go to Science Park once a week. Fortunately, I already know my way around Science Park thanks to the information activities I attented over the past two years. But still it is a shame that I can not go to Science Park every day and sense the atmosphere there.’


How do you expect to make friends? 

‘All students are in this together, so that makes me hopeful. We will probably talk to each other regularly during lectures via video connection, but of course that is not the best way to get to know people. I hope we will meet ouside of lectures once in a while, but that is a bit difficult for me – I have to travel 1.5 hours to Science Park and in weekends I can not take the train for free.’


Do you dread attending lectures at home? 

‘Studying at home does not work as good for me as studying on campus. I am more distracted at home. On the other hand, it is a challenge and an experience. I may have to teach myself more self-discipline. However, I do hope that questions can still be asked to teachers in a simple and accessible way, even online.’


How do you feel about having to pay full tuition? 

‘On the one hand, I think it makes sense, since the university still retains most of the costs (salary of teachers, maintenance et cetera). We may not be able to expect the university to compensate us as students. On the other hand, the government could step in to fill this gap and still compensate us students, since studying online is a lot less effective for many than studying on campus. However, we are also dealing with a crisis. It is difficult to say.’