The Red Throne

This week I went back to Middelburg for the first time after I moved out of my room over a month ago. While it was weird to be back without living there, I of course enjoyed myself too. Also, I had to sit on a red throne while the mayor was reading out a piece about me.

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Tuesday night I got on the train from Etten-Leur to Middelburg. I had to be at UCR’s convocation ceremony the Wednesday afternoon anyways (see more below), and since there would be two parties that night, I decided to go on Tuesday already. In this way, I hoped to be able to see and talk to some more friends that still live in Middelburg.

After I got off the train, I walked into the direction of the city centre. It was weird to be in Middelburg again, especially knowing that you will not be able to go to the room you lived in for three years. Also, I noticed different, small changes throughout the city. It is funny to realize how much can change in just several weeks, and how we usually don’t pay attention to these small things at all.

After a great night with several friends at the bar and lots of talking with one of my best friends in bed ’till late, the next day came. In the afternoon there would be the convocation ceremony, a yearly ceremony to ‘welcome’ the new students to the UCR community. A new addition to the ceremony this year was the handing out of three awards, two for academic achievements and one student leadership award. I was the lucky one receiving the student leadership award of this year.

As soon as I entered the church where the ceremony would be held, I got informed of the joyous fact that I would have to sit on a red throne on stage, while the mayor would be reading out a speech about me. I was more hoping for a quick going on and off the stage kind of moment. But no, I would be in the spotlight. On a red throne. In your face.

Anyways, when the time came, I just sat down very uncomfortably (the chair was very low and that doesn’t go well with a dress) and smiled. The speech mentioned all the reasons why I won this award, what I had done for UCR and for the Zeeland community. To me it felt like it took forever – just keep on smiling – but it was a really nice speech. I do have to admit that it made me sound like mother Theresa a bit at times. The professor who wrote this speech might have overexagerated a little at some points.

When the speech was done, I was happy to take the flowers and the award and leave the stage. But, of course, before going back to my seat, I had to stay on the stage a little longer to have a lovely photo taking of me, the flowers, the award and… the red throne.

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