Column: “Rediscover ourselves”
Francisco Jose Lopez • Honours College

These times have been overwhelming for most of us. There are so many things that can stress us out. So many uncertainties, so many doubts, so many new things, and so much time to be used in something – hopefully – useful.

My name is Francisco Jose Lopez, and I am a third-year student of the Humanities Lab honours track. During my time in the Honours College, I have been able to be a student ambassador for the humanities lab and be a student representative for this program’s OLC. In this short text, I would like to reflect on my experience in the honours academy and share some thoughts related to these confinement times. 

I started honours in the second semester of my first year. I still remember how excited I was to start with this program. The first class I had was ‘French Worldwide’. I recall the feeling of traveling to Leiden every Friday to have the best time of my week. And to be honest, I felt the same way for almost all the different courses I had during my honours experience. One thing that I particularly liked about these classes was the interdisciplinarity and the different approaches taken when discussing one topic. Furthermore, being able to meet people from different study programs, different faculties, and from very different backgrounds was something very enriching. Likewise, I appreciated all the efforts that both the Honours Academy and the humanities lab did to enhance the links in our communities by organizing interesting events and study trips.

Now that I am soon to graduate, I am very grateful I decided to follow an honours program, not only for the fact of having a nice honours certificate, but also for the whole learning and critical thinking process I went through. It makes me feel a bit sad to know that due to the Coronavirus situation, I was not able to properly enjoy the last two courses of my honours time, even if we still have the classes online. It is a bit unfortunate that this honours experience is almost over, so I would just like to encourage all the students that still have a couple of semesters left to take advantage of the amazing opportunities you will encounter. 

For now, let us take the time to rediscover ourselves. Let us take the time to help those surrounding us. Let us take the time to recognize that we are part of a community. Let us acknowledge that we need the other and that the other needs us. Let us appreciate the beautiful cities where we live. Let us reconnect.

Hopefully, we will get through this #CoronaTime in the best possible way, so that soon we will be able to get back on track and continue discovering the world at Leiden University. And especially, discovering how fun learning can be at the honours college!  

I wanted to encourage other honours students to really take advantage of their time, so that they can profit from the honours college activities. I see this submission as a ‘saying bye’ post to the Honours college.