Circling the Square
A year of rules and restrictions seems to have successfully domesticated the students of Groningen. Hot-blooded youths have turned into drab withered squares. Starting this bright orange week, however, the tide’s begun to turn.
The students of yore were a folk of substance. They could spend an evening with friends, eat an eierbal without flinching, and make it to the exam the next morning without so much as three winks of sleep. Unfazed by the stresses of an education, they busied themselves with all that the city had to offer.
For the past couple months though, we’ve cut a rather sorry figure. Living an existence sanitised of all colour. Where once we strove for the better, we’d resigned ourselves to fate. Gazing longingly at our navels, till it was alright again to step outdoors.
Believing the lie of base materialism, we’d become cushy conformists. We’d sooner bang on about everything we couldn’t do, than make a start on what we could. Even the seagulls were beginning to choke on the air of pessimism that’d filled the ‘metropolis of the North’.
Where once we strove for the better, we’d resigned ourselves to fate
Is this then a clarion call to flout the norms, drink yourself silly and be a general nuisance? No, that’s not exactly the kind of freedom we were after in the first place. Rather, it’s to exercise the youthful liberty to do the ridiculous. A pils or two on the side doesn’t sound too bad either.
Bizarrely, it’s the stadjers who’ve taken a lead- inaugurating Koningsweek with dance flashmobs across the city. With the terraces and the UG opening their doors, there’s reason enough for jubilation. The icing for first-years, is that their lives are finally going to fit their job description.
Periods of adversity have often been nurseries of prosperity and life. Armed with a newfound consciousness of what was near and dear, Europe left the war years for the booming 50’s. The tumult of the 80’s gave way to the peace and quiet of the 90’s. Doing the math gives us cause to smile.
Foot traffic’s doubled in the Binnenstad, and leopard prints are becoming a common sight again. Every metric suggests that the students are poised to retake the city. Count me in for a front row seat.