Maastricht, connecting the dots!
Seven years ago, I left Spain to go to a city in the south of The Netherlands to start a new adventure —start a master's in Systems Biology. Little did I know that this was the best decision I have made and that this city named Maastricht would probably see the happiest two years of my life so far and would shape the years to come. Maastricht is the city where I found my passion for more tech aspects, which made me meet some of the best people I have come across, the city that made me fall in love for the first and last time, and the city I am sad about leaving today for good after spending eight months there one more time.
Some people may say the city is small, some others may say the weather is shit, and some that Dutch people are not the nicest, but to me, this city and the people I met there are incredible and have taught me four invaluable lessons that I would like to share.
Be a good Person. Give it all, causing a good impression
Make long-lasting relationships
Enjoy. Let you be inspired. Be surprised
Never say never
1. Be a good Person. Give it all, causing a good impression:
Eight Months ago, I sent a cold email to the department in charge of my master, asking whether they could let me work from there so that I could work on my company. They agreed, and yesterday I left after bringing some Vlaai —a traditional Dutch cake— to the office with a touching feeling of having been welcomed for these last months and any possible time in the future.
A big part of this is not because of me but because of how welcoming the people there are. I want to thank Claudia, Ilja, Michelle, Mike, Michiel, Tina, Balazs, Daan & David for treating me like one more there. However, I am sure it is also on me, and I think it points towards generating a good impression. And by that, I do not only mean working hard and having good grades. That certainly helps, especially when you are a student, but with that being a must, in my humble opinion, what can make people remember you for long is how good of a person you were to them and how good you treated them. If you do that without asking for anything in return, people will most surely have a good memory of you and be happy to have you back.
2. Make long-lasting relationships:
Maybe a hot take, but I would say life is not that much about you but about the people you can surround yourself with. Making long-lasting friendships is one of the best feelings. I arrived in this city seven years ago, and today, I know that I made here some of my best friends (Riccardo, Pol). Also, I was now able to go back for some months and be back with some good friends I had not seen for years as if no time had passed (Maurits, Koen, Tinka, Pieter, Raquel) and meet some new people that I happen to feel close to now (Andre, Tim, Stefan). I will miss you and am grateful for everything this city has taught me.
3. Enjoy. Let you be inspired. Be surprised:
These are three things that Maastricht University has undoubtedly taught me. And if you are considering this university as the place to study, let me add this:
I encourage anybody to pick Maastricht. Study hard, meet people, party, join associations, do sports, make friends, and, above everything, enjoy your time here and do not leave anything in the tank. If you do, you may want to desperately leave this city at the end of your time here. But you know what? After some months or years elsewhere, you will remember Maastricht and a smile will come to your face. You will smile and remember your friends, the memories you lived here, and how happy you were in the city. Trust me. It will be a fantastic feeling to have!
4. Never say never
I was the one saying I am never coming back to Maastricht! Why did I say it? No idea. Probably, I just wanted to start my Ph.D. in Barcelona and dared to tell this to my girlfriend —Evi. Well, big life lesson here, I would do anything for her, and I did come to Maastricht because she was living here. Now it is time we move somewhere else so that she continues her medical career. However, never say never to anything, let alone a place that has given you so much, that has made you so happy, and that brings you a lot of luck. Maastricht will always be in my heart whatever comes next, and I will not repeat that sentence. I own to this city a lot more than I can grasp now, but I can only connect the dots looking backward until here. I will have to keep going to connect them more in some years.
Thank you Maastricht!
The Rank of Books I Read (February 2023 - May 2023)
Quit Like a Millionaire. Kristy Shen & Bryce Leung
Eclipse. Jo Nesbo
The Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey
El Hombre Celoso. Jo Nesbo
Shards of Honor. Lois McMaster Bujold
Barrayar. Lois McMaster Bujold
Enough. John C. Bogle
Cetaganda. Lois McMaster Bujold
The Rational Optimist. Matt Riley
Der Polizist. John Grisham
Devil's Table. Kate Rhodes
The Science of Story Telling. Will Storr
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From a friend,