Once a Puk, always a Puk

02 April 2019 | Columns

Lucinda Van Schalkwyk - North-West University in Potchefstroom

As an old Windhoek High School learner, the North-West University in Potchefstroom is just the right place for me, with Namibians being present in numbers, and you quickly see why. It is where I a busy with my second degree and where I found my home. While I’m busy with my honours degree in tourism management I’m still amazed by the atmosphere between students, where we can study, have fun, struggle and laugh together and still be able to receive our degrees together.

After I finished my first degree, BSc Tourism Management with Botany and Zoology in 2018, I realised that I want to study further, with Puk being my first choice to do that. As an international student, the paperwork tends to be a bit more, but the experience stays amazing. I quickly adjusted to only going home twice a year and when you start to miss home too much, your koshuis ma’s room is not too far away. Apart from the high academic quality and exceptional opportunities that the school of tourism offers, like being able to assist with surveys at the Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal, the campus itself offers wonderful scenery. With green gardens full of animals, anything from cats, mongoose, chickens to monkeys, every trip to your classroom feels like you are entering the wilderness.

My residence, the beautiful Eikenhof ladies residence, offers every resident multiple opportunities to become a part of the residence activities from day one, and with this gives you the opportunity to integrate with campus activities as well. With a variety of committees within the residence and the Student Campus Council’s portfolios, there is something for everyone’s taste. Personally, I’m not a culture butterfly, but the opportunity to become a part of charity projects of or being able to paint new boards for our next social interaction is so much fun.

There is a variety of sport offered, from squash to kickboxing. I decided to stick with hockey, and even had my fair share of falling while defending in soccer. To be able to walk on a campus and to witness such a diverse group of people working together and living harmoniously as one group is breath-taking.

Friends become family and quickly introduce you to soetbrood with your braaivles, and new sayings like “lekker en jy” instead of the traditional “hoe gaan dit?”.

The best way to spend your breaks is enjoying a quick ice cream from the student centre, better known as the SS, in the amphitheatre, while you are people-watching.

Every person is seemingly at ease with who they are and ready to enter the workforce as an adult. When academics start to get too much, I quickly grab a friend to get a quick drink at Draak (the Drakenstein Restaurant). With a few all-nighters done and dusted, I can proudly say that McDonald’s McFlurries are the best at 04:00 in the morning.

Fun facts

· I’m always ready for a random roundtrip and unplanned adventures

· I love nature and animals, especially within southern Africa, and it is a dream of mine to travel to the countries within the region.

· I’m very family-driven and loyal to my friends, because they also become a part of my family.

· You can bribe me at any time with ice cream or fries.

· I’ll always make time for a gym session (to work off all the fries) or a quick afternoon nap.

· I’m a super-geek, and I can recite Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter off by heart.