Once I've set foot in Portugal, my heart skipped a beat. This friendly country, warm climate and nice cuisine are so good, that I fell in love immediately. As a proud student, I showed my University hoody here.




Beauty has so many forms, and I think the most beautiful thing is confidence and loving yourself

Some of you would ask, what’s about this picture? Well, Amsterdam has a special place in my heart. A couple of times a year I visit the capital and I always feel very welcome here. Packed like sardines in the train to get there, or standing all the way, I’m always happy to set foot at the central station. From a walking distance, there are canals and beautiful buildings around you. It’s only a matter of time till you see the dam squire. Rainy or not, Amsterdam gives me the smile and vibe that I want to return to, every time again.

Coffee on a squire with pigeons
Madame Tussaud, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Life is about the journey, not the destination itself

Lots of exciting things happen in Amsterdam. Never a dull moment. Almost every tourist who knows the country has visited the capital. Two years ago I was in doubt. Should I study here or not? Compared two studies with each other and come to one simple conclusion: I wanted to do my study in English. And the way to do that was to study in Utrecht. For this reason, I’m still Utrecht based. Making choices was never one of my best qualities in life. But still, handling it and learn every day.


One day I started my education at the Dutch vmbo. This first high school was great. As a youngster with braces, I learned which courses I liked and which not. I learned that I didn’t like creative courses and history, my interests were biology and chemistry. When I grew up in a small village in Brabant, life was easy. Just a few minutes away, my primary and secondary school were there. Good memories arise when I think of that time. The group of standard friends were everything at that moment. Developing lifestyle, handling puberty, meeting boys and first loves. But also the first heartbreaks, scooter moments and crazy attitudes arise. All the experiences of a teenager what seems so important dominated your life. The second school I attended was the havo. This one I didn’t like so much. Things changed, friends changed and suddenly you became older. I remembered that at this period, I was very insecure. Facing the challenges of making choices, becoming independent of your parents and being irritated about everything and nothing. Well, I think my hormones drove me crazy. The two years I survived, mostly on energy and fries during the breaks, while listening to my diskman playing good old Beyonce and Aaliyah.

Seventeen was my age when I went to study in Breda. Life couldn’t be better. I think the booze blurred my vision. Introduction week was awesome and the pictures I have are worth keeping. It felt like a whole new world was opening up. Goodbye high school, hello student world! All I remember are parts of this study. I remembered I walked out of class when the class just began, just to go to the city for drinks. All I did that time was partying. So guess what happened with this study? It failed, pretty hard. So I had to stop and my next decision was to work fulltime. Working life is tough, especially when you’re young and all your friends are studying and partying. This made me think again. So while I saved some money, I could afford to live in dorms at 18. That’s what I did.

This time I did it right. I graduated for my Bachelors’ degree as a 2nd-grade biology teacher. Hell yeah, I got my 60 ECT within one year! To prove myself I could do this, I finished this study in time and did the things people expected from me. After graduation, I travelled to Asia (my decision to see a part of the world) and looked for a fulltime job. I left the comforting south of The Netherlands to move to Utrecht. All I knew was, that you could do pretty great shopping there. I came there sometimes with my mom to literally shop till you drop. This time, I wanted to live in the centre of the country. That could be handy, for if I ever switch my job or whatever. To still be close by everything. The thing was, that I noticed I wasn’t happy about my working life. I worked my ass off and earned pretty good money, for a junior in the field. But you can’t buy happiness with money. (Although the shopping and dinners were very nice!) So I quit my job as a teacher. 

Flower all around me, when I was baking to scones in the bakery. Because I didn’t know what to do with my life, I just got a simple job. So I baked scones and bread for six months to give myself rest and rethink of what to do next. Soon, I felt so disappointed. As if I run so hard to graduate and then fall into the first big black hole on the road. It felt that I tripped and had to empower myself to get up. Some call it burnout, some call it the stress of the millennium generation, that every adolescent has to deal with these days. What if you want something else that society does look like in the books and magazines? Is that wrong, is it different? Why does it feels like I’m out of balance? Sometimes you have to lose balance, to live a balanced life. That’s easy to say, right! It’s that period when I thought of another study. I knew I wanted to challenge myself and I knew I could. In Oktober 2016 I made the decision to apply for the pre-master in Utrecht. That saying meant that I had to wait one year to actually apply for the new semester to start. So these months I could prepare myself for this next adventure and I could convince myself that I could do this. Although I never heard of SPSS.

Surprisingly, how fast people can learn. September 2017, I started my next education. The premaster Educational Sciences at the University Utrecht. Because I think that the ability to learn and the capacity for it is amazing, I want myself and everybody to study as much as you can. You give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. You learn a man how to fish, and he will eat for his entire life. This quote I always keep in mind. Because I think it’s true. Knowledge is power, knowledge is richdom. Also, knowledge is there to share with the world. So don’t keep it for yourself, be an altruist and let everybody profit.

So much to do, so much to learn. Never stop exploring. Within six months, I have to apply for my master’s program. And I’m excited about it. I came from far, studied for a long time already and still going strong. SPSS I can handle, I beat the shit out of R (well, sort of), and Mepa is my friend. The people I met are amazing, inspiring and nice. This road of my education I wouldn’t describe as a highway, but more of a way through jungle. Enjoy every moment of it, in the good and the bad times. In the rainy and sunny times. But every time, I thank God that I’m able to study. You haven’t seen the rest of me yet. Until I graduate, just breath and keep going. In the meantime, you can find me at the library at the Drift or in Amsterdam. Sipping my coffee at a nice terrace, while I explain to a tourist where they can find the Night watch.

Imi Loa


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