Adieu and auf wiedersehen mien jong

Five odd years I’ve raced like a blinkered tropical horse, ostensibly towards this degree. Granted, it was more of a stroll than a sprint, but I’m at the finish. Saying goodbye is not my thing.

I’ve been told by everybody and their pet cat that one in four econometrists becomes a millionaire. Which only leads to the (statistically) more important question: what exactly happens to the other three? Interned someplace dark for their crimes, perhaps? Or off raising peafowl in solitude in some far-flung corner? Are there any left to simply procreate and build homes in perfect normality? The mathematical models are happily inconclusive.

I guess there’s not much else to do at this point than to dream (‘to make and execute plans for the future’ sounds a bit too clinical), and for the time being, to bid student life a fond farewell. It won’t be easy. There’s far too much to be thankful for.

This column for one. It was begun in the lonely years, and is still written, in the vain hope of inducing a chuckle or two, with the added benefit of an unflattering mugshot plastered on the website every fortnight (alas, real altruism is hard to come by!). Apart from being a vent for my (linguistic) snobbery, it helped me keep my eyes open while blitzing about our lovely city.

The fact of this chapter ending hasn’t really sunk in

Groningen, like Rome, never seems to change, yet my affection for her has only grown over the years. Still, the cynic in me wants to know what it was all for, grand scheme and such. Isn’t all this ultimately just an exercise in sappy sentimentality? It may well be, but I think Ms. O’Connor had it figured when she said that the point of a story is the story itself. And student life is a chapter I’m particularly grateful for.

Truth be told, the fact of this chapter ending hasn’t really sunk in. In part because it feels more like an entire lifetime, complete with a genesis, ugly trials, incredible excesses, failed romances, and a treasured smattering of glorious days that makes everything more than worthwhile, rather than the few years of youthful naivety I have to show for it all on paper.

It’s a comfort that the joy of the past years will live on in reminiscences. Hopefully, if providence grants it, they’ll be with old friends and cold pints on exceptionally sunny days (I’m back in the clouds again). I’ll gladly take it.

For now, I’m off, I suppose, to better and brighter things. But let’s be serious and grounded for just a moment longer. Answer me this: is there really anything above Old Grunn?


This is Hrydai’s last column.

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