'An orientation day after graduating'

Walking through De Uithof

Chandni Shyam
Photo: Tara van den Broek

Keeping up with the strangeness of most of my academic life at UU, I attended an orientation day after graduating. I volunteered to be one of the student mentors who was giving a tour of the science park campus. The first time I was sent instructions for the guided tour, I quickly realised that I needed some guidance. The three other times that I had been on campus were not enough to actually give the tour. Luckily for me, there was to be a demo run by the team organising the orientation. So, the weekend before I was supposed to give the tour, I joined a group of six other volunteers in front of the Sjoerd Groenman building.

This is a familiar building because my department is housed there and I had been there a handful of times to meetings. What I did not know was that this building was only built in 2013 and was named after the first dean of the Faculty of Social Science! For some reason, I thought it was much older than that. I never really noticed the study areas spread across the floors of this building either. On the other side of the road is the Langeveld building, which was meant to be connected to the Sjoerd Groenman building. That's why they look so similar! However, there was an architectural mistake and the connection did not quite make it.

The Educatorium was pretty much the cherry on the cake. I had never set foot inside that building until that day.

The large lecture theatres called the Megaron and Theatron blew my mind. Quite reminded me of Thanos. I also had no idea where the canteen was and the many possibilities this opened. I think it also has a very distinctive architectural style which is interesting to look at. The exam rooms were quite boring and sterile. I was glad we only had to take exams at home.

I had been to the Ruppert Building but never through the Educatorium, so I was quite pleased when I found that the two buildings were connected. Ruppert was apparently the first building to be built in the Science Park. I did not get to peak inside the lecture halls named after colours though. Right outside, there is also an unlikely-looking tower that is the astronomy tower. It is no longer in use but still contains a working telescope.

On the day of the tour, I walked my curious juniors across the prescribed path. Only once did I take a wrong turn. In between the lecture halls at the Educatorium, I went up the flight of stairs hoping to make it to the exam halls. But of course, that was not the way. I must say the view at the top of the stairs was well worth the climb. It’s a cosy spot with the trees hugging the façade of the building. I don’t think my tour members minded it much.