|While December is typically seen as the month of festivities, religious celebrations and time spent with family, I think sociology students know what it’s really all about; grueling fieldwork.
It’s basically a rite of passage, marking the almost-halfway point of your first year at the UvA. Even tough the current first-years won’t have to deal with the demotivating process of knocking on doors, looking for houses that don’t seem to exist and the never ending stream of people who’ll tell you to leave them alone; the core experience still seems to be the same. Begging people you don’t know to do an interview, and if you actually get in the door, awkwardly trying to sustain a somewhat normal conversation while getting people to tell you about what the earn each month. Everybody inevitably gets into the phase of contemplating whether you can get away with faking an interview and consequently getting guilt tripped by Gerben’s well placed integrity lecture, during which you’re still thinking of the stupid Sinterklaas surprise your family expects you to make. (That last bit might just be me though.) I hated the entire thing, and cursed at my decision to start studying sociology. Why didn’t I choose psychology like all my roommates and stay inside and fuck around in SPSS all day?
Looking back however, it does seem to have had it’s use. It was exactly as shitty as I describe above, and it left me with a cold for the remainder of the Christmas break, but wandering around de Pijp in shitty weather pretty much forces you to have take a break in some hipster café with a few nice beers on tap, or at least a good cup of coffee during which you actually get to know your fellow
victims students. This whole ordeal tends to weed out the ones that aren’t prepared to sacrifice their free time or their sanity and the necessary drama inevitably ensues; groups dissolve, people quit and interviews are faked.
It was the worst part of my first year in the sociology programme. Yet, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, just to walk around the city with friends.