“Looking at that wall brings back a lot of memories”

“Looking at that wall brings back a lot of memories”

A room of one’s own

12-09-2022 · Interview

Jorinde Lohmann (21, Dutch), a second-year bachelor’s student of Biomedical Sciences, pays €550 per month for a 22 m2 studio apartment near Markt square.

“I want to stay here for as long as I’m a student at UM”, says Jorinde Lohmann happily, leaning back in her chair and looking around the room. After moving three times, she has finally found her place in Maastricht: in a quiet apartment complex where dozens of students and young adults live, each with their own kitchen and bathroom.

It’s quite a contrast to her previous two homes. Now, she barely knows her neighbours; during her first year as a student, she lived in tight-knit student houses. First in a student association house in Wyck, where she had to leave after six months when she decided to join another student association (Circumflex). She then moved to an attic room in a house down the street, where she lived with several other students. “It was fun, but I didn’t really feel at home there. All my housemates were older, so I didn’t really click with them as a first-year student.”

Mice

When one of her friends moved out of her studio apartment in the city centre last summer, Lohmann decided to seize the opportunity. “I did have to think about it, as it would mean moving again. Thankfully, my parents said, ‘If this is what you really want, we’ll help you out again.’” A year later, she’s still happy with her decision. Living alone suits her. “I really like it. Sure, it was nice to be able to flop down on someone else’s bed on a hungover morning, or to have someone who made me go outside on those days. But I miss the company less than I’d expected.”

Still, she wouldn’t have wanted to miss those experiences. “I didn’t know anyone in Maastricht when I moved here, so it was great to be close with my housemates.” Besides, they were educational. “I had underestimated how hard it is to keep your house clean, especially when you live with people who care less about it. I’m not a neat freak myself, but I draw the line at mice.”

Urinal

She also likes the 'new' location, near Markt square. She doesn’t just live right next to her work – she works at a market stall on Fridays – but also, she explains, “in the heart of student life”. Her student association building is within walking distance, and the area is packed with pubs.

The night-time crowds in the streets do have a downside. For example, the wall next to her window has turned out to be a popular public urinal of sorts. And there’s a fair bit of noise and disturbance caused by drunk people and street fights. “In a sense, it’s a good thing that I usually don’t get home till late. It only really bothers me on Tuesday nights, when I don’t go out myself. I’m usually more annoyed by the noise from bin collections in the mornings.”

Culture shock

When asked about her favourite object or part of her apartment, Lohmann points to a wall filled with photos. Of family and friends, but mostly photos she took during a trip to India when she was in secondary school. “I went there to help fix up a school for street children. It left a deep impression on me. It was my first time outside Europe, so it was a huge culture shock, and it was also my first time travelling without my parents. Looking at those photos brings back fond memories. Also, they’re just nice and colourful photos that liven up the room.”

Another eye-catcher is the pile of medical encyclopaedias from 1980. “They’re from my grandpa’s library. He loved science and collecting books. I came across these encyclopaedias after he passed away. They were still wrapped in plastic. I like to leaf through them every now and then to see what has changed since they were printed. Most things haven’t actually changed much. The basic principles are often still the same.”

The only thing she misses here is her piano. “It didn’t fit here, so it’s still at my parents’ house. I love to sing and play the piano. I’d like to be in a band one day. When I visit my parents, I usually say a quick hi on my way to the piano.”
 

In the new, weekly series 'A room of one's own' Observant interviews students about their rooms, in their rooms. Are you a student and interested to be in this series with your own room? Send a mail to [email protected]

Photo: Ellen Oosterhof

Categories: news_top, People
Tags: a room of one's own,student room,students,instagram

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