Standing in line for a study spot
It’s still foggy when the first student walks up to the UB doors. The Martini tower bells ring eight times. Adam Rindelhardt (20), a human geography student, sleepily stares out across the square. ‘Yesterday I couldn’t even find a place to sit’, he says. All the tables were taken by nine thirty. ‘But now, I should be good.’ He doesn’t like studying at home. ‘There are too many things to distract me.’
He gratefully accepts the coffee we offer him. ‘I usually have a coffee at home, but today I wanted to be here on time.’ Once the doors open, he’ll go all the way upstairs. ‘I want a spot on the top floor, so I’ll have a nice view’, he says. He has an exam tomorrow, so he needs to work hard.
In line for thirty minutes
As more students arrive at the Broerstraat, the group of people lining up in front of the door grows. ‘We don’t have a choice. We’d have to wait in line for thirty minutes otherwise’, says Boris Vermuiden (25), who’s doing a pre-master in human resource management. ‘I’ve had to be here this early several times over the past few weeks.’
He didn’t go to bed on time, though: ‘My head hit the pillow around one in the morning.’ That meant the alarm went off really early. ‘It’s not great of course. But it’s also because the public library is closed so there are fewer spots. But it is what it is. It’s worth it.’
Trucks on the sidewalk
The group has spread out in front of the doors. Trucks have to drive on the sidewalk to avoid the horde of students. Master student of international commercial law Dinda Himmah (22) has never been at the library this early before. ‘I was waiting for a friend at the train station and I didn’t have anywhere else to go.’ She has an exam tomorrow, so she made good use of her time.
At exactly eight thirty, the revolving door to the library unlocks. One by one the students go inside. Half an hour later, the group has dwindled to just a few people smoking out front. Tomorrow morning it will start all over again.
Translation by Sarah van Steenderen