College Life Logo

Congratulations, Class of 2023! 

Following stressful weeks, uncertainties, and fun memories with your peers, you finally get to throw your hat to celebrate. When the excitement dissipates, new worries may set in. What now? Navigating the transition into the professional world is crucial to get a hold of your life after graduation. However, you need not worry as you're beginning a new phase filled with even more gratifying experiences and fulfilling opportunities. Through careful planning, learning, and reflection, you'll be off to a great start! Thus, this article will provide 24 survival tips to help graduates thrive in the professional world in 2023

Tip #1: Embrace solo dates - time to reflect!

Give yourself time to adjust to this new chapter. Many changes are coming your way, and it's better you reflect on where you are now. Think about what you've accomplished and the goals you want to achieve. Ask yourself: What did I like and not like about my studies? Where do I see myself flourishing - what work and which country? What makes me happy and fulfilled? It may help to write it down and experiment with journaling. Sometimes, when you actively reflect and write, you realise what a long way you've come.

Bonus: Take yourself on a date and bring your notebook or laptop with you. It can be a small cafe serving the best coffee (in your opinion) in town or a park with picturesque scenery. Anything that makes you feel calm to give yourself peace of mind.

Tip #2: Let yourself get lost to find the version you want to become 

It may seem the scariest step of all, yet extremely rewarding eventually. While planning is essential, you need room to wiggle to find the life you wish to lead after graduation. Whether it's something drastic such as a career change or simply being unsure - it's okay to feel this way. Importantly, trust yourself and what you truly wish from your life and avoid negative peer pressure.

The travel writer Matt Gross gives many tips and narrates stories of his adventures getting lost while travelling. His articles can give you some great tips to travel smartly! For instance, he has suggested that you stow your baggage in a locker and roam around the streets. He also has emphasised that you don't immediately get lost as you still have some sense of direction. Yet the more you move away from the familiar and into the unknown, the more you let yourself get lost. In the same way, lock your metaphorical bags filled with the must-dos and "this-has-always-been-a-plan"s in your room but don't expect to be comfortable initially. Just be curious about the process of having an opportunity to find your best version by letting yourself move away from the familiar. Get lost and trust that you'll find your way out.

Tip #3: Set career goals and create a roadmap for achieving them

After these reflection sessions, it's time for more practical steps. Hopefully, you have an idea or two about how you wish your life and career to look. Now, you can set actionable goals. Not to make too many travelling references, but it helps to have a roadmap. Create a strategic vision of your ambitions with smaller achievable steps. There are many ways to create a career roadmap, and you can adjust it according to your needs!

Tip #4: Develop a strong online presence and optimise your professional profiles

Your LinkedIn profile has to become your usual companion. LinkedIn is an ideal platform if you are looking to browse current job prospects and connect with potential employers. Take this free time after graduation to update (or create) your online presence on LinkedIn by including all your experiences, skills, or certifications. Ensure you also add your description in the "summary" section and post some content from your work that can serve as a portfolio.

Often, recruitment nowadays happens online. Regardless, be sure that your employer will check your socials beyond LinkedIn. Thus, cleaning up your profiles is vital - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms you utilise. Make it private where necessary - don't forget to have a work-life balance! 

Tip #5: Conduct extensive research on job prospects to know your options 

Doing research is always an intelligent move for everything you set your mind to. Hence, if you wish to orient yourself in the market, checking out your job prospects can prove beneficial to be clear on your options. Here's where your LinkedIn profile comes in handy. Additionally, dig deeper with other employment websites for job listings.

This research will also help you better understand what kind of positions and work you see yourself in - which job descriptions made you feel excited and which made you yawn? There you have it.

Tip #6: Continuously update and improve your resume and cover letter

You might have already made your resume and written a cover letter. Yet, it's not a one-and-done process as you continuously grow and acquire more skills and experiences. Not to mention, resumes always need adjustments to tailor to the specific job you're applying for. You can work on it even with no previous work experience. After all, you have just graduated!

Take this time to improve, learn tips and tricks to optimise your documents, and try various templates - see what works for you! 

Tip #7: Diversify your resume by volunteer work, hobbies, and certifications 

If you feel something's lacking when working on your resume, you should add steps to your roadmap. You could look at volunteering opportunities, receiving certifications, or developing your hobbies. It's an advantage as it helps to diversify your resume with this, and these experiences add a unique touch to stand out. 

Volunteer work can be an exciting, fun, and gratifying experience. Not to mention, it looks good on your resume. Volunteering for an exciting festival, project, or social service can provide you with skills and memories of a lifetime.

There are many online courses for various technical skills for which you can acquire certifications (and flaunt in your resume and LinkedIn profile!) It's advisable to develop technical aptitude as it's one of the vital future skills that can make you an attractive candidate. 

Embrace your current hobbies or revisit the old ones even if it feels like it's not relevant to your career. Employers will want to know about you beyond the skills required for the job. Depending on your hobby, you may also create an online portfolio to showcase your work.

Bonus: This tip is helpful for your career path and contributes to your personal growth as you evolve, learn, and experience diverse opportunities. 

Tip #8: Practise and refine your interview skills

Before landing a job and starting a career, we all have to go through the interview process, where we try to present our best selves. First impressions are crucial, so displaying a positive demeanour goes a long way. Practise welcoming and confident body language and tone of voice. Write a 60-second elevator pitch and practice saying it out loud many times. If possible, enrol for training. It can also be a course for public speaking as the skills acquired there will, overall, greatly help in knowing how to present yourself. 

Tip #9: Embrace networking opportunities and build professional connections

A lot of the time, networking can open more doors for you than any online applications and impressive cover letters can. Networking is vital to build professional connections and reach companies and organisations you wish to work for. Strike up conversations online, and join specific and relevant groups for your career path. While many interactions are now happening online, don't overlook the power of networking offline. Attend those career fairs and networking events, apply your skills of effectively presenting yourself, and create meaningful professional connections.

Tip #10: Seek mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals

Networking can also assist you in finding mentors or professionals in your field who can guide you on how to get started. Merely listening to others' experiences can already teach you a lot about what (not) to do. Don't be shy to ask for advice and help; most people love sharing their knowledge. It's good to ask for feedback on your work and get some fresh perspectives.

Tip #11: Keep learning and seek opportunities for professional development

Graduating doesn't mean you stop learning. Continuous learning is the key to developing, growing, and reaching more of your goals. So you should also polish your existing skills and knowledge - "Repetition is the mother of learning!"”

Moreover, say yes to more opportunities for professional growth. Apply for those crash courses, read. Put your revised resume to good use - apply for an internship or traineeship that seems beneficial for your career path.

Tip #12: Stay updated with industry trends and developments

That being said, one vital aspect of continuous learning is staying updated on today's trends. The good news is this does not necessarily require a big-time investment. Merely 15-20 minutes of your day to skim through the news in your industry can yield tremendous results for you. Look for the influences in the field, the emergent trends that are not yet fully explored, and the skills on demand. This can inspire you and provide you with topics to spark conversations when networking.

Tip #13: Manage your finances wisely

You know you're stepping into adult life when you must plan your finances independently. While you already had to think of this during your university years, now it's time to pay off those student loans, if needed. It’s time to create a new budget, including your rent, taxes, living expenses, and other costs that are part of your life’s new chapter.

Tip #14: Build a personal brand and showcase your unique strengths

Just as companies tap into employer branding, you should create one for yourself. As a potential employee entering the workforce, building your personal brand to showcase your strengths is of the essence. This can be done in numerous ways. Optimise your professional profiles online (see Tip 4) and work on your portfolio. Regardless, employers want to see tangible results like examples. You can create a website or simply a pdf where you write down your strengths and  also showcase them. Many website builders give you a free option to create your own!

Tip #15: Build a professional wardrobe

Here's a fun tip! As mentioned earlier (see Tip 8), first impressions are critical, and clothes can have an influence. As you enter the workforce and leave student life, you should also switch up your wardrobe: put your hoodies and sweatpants on your shelves and make room for some shirts, classy pants, and blazers. Yet, if this sounds very far from you, it can also hint at the environment you wish to work in. Many jobs still require a dress code - business professional, business casual, or casual. There's also a not-so-new trend of business attire that involves pyjama pants if you work remotely - that's a choice you can make yourself. 

Tip #16: Develop digital literacy

Despite of your chosen industry, technology has permeated every field. Hence, the need for tech-savvy employees is in constant demand. Many times, you'll see various tech knowledge requirements in job descriptions, and adding them to your resume or LinkedIn profile will instantly put you higher than those that lack them. Knowing Microsoft 365 is a no-brainer and it's a huge plus if you're acquainted with Adobe Software - the more the merrier. Do you know how to build a website? - make it known. Have you learned programming languages, such as Javascript or Python? - emphasise that. Additionally, with the emergence and growth in the popularity of AI software, staying updated and learning about AI is also becoming essential. 

Tip #17: Work on your soft skills 

Working on your technical skills shouldn't overshadow the importance of acquiring soft skills. With the fast-evolving job market with a constant need for development and innovation, employers are searching for creative and flexible minds. Working on your soft skills is significant for your professional and personal life. Revisit your experiences and projects you've worked on during or outside your university. You'll find that you have already acquired many substantial soft skills necessary for today's workplace. 

[Additional Reading: read Top Soft Skills in Resume in 2023 (+ How to Acquire Them) for a detailed list and tips on how to work on your soft skills]

Tip #18: Gain intercultural competence by travelling, studying/working abroad opportunities, and having a diverse circle of connections

Intercultural competence is perhaps something you've already acquired during your studies if you were in an international environment. Regardless, it's a necessary and demanded skill to show as the workforce has become international and diverse. There are ways to gain intercultural competence outside your university. It can be travelling on a budget or, even better, taking up work or study abroad opportunities whenever possible. Moving to a different country teaches you much more than travelling as a tourist could.

However, you don't necessarily need to move across the world. Here too, networking is crucial to meet diverse people from different backgrounds and perspectives and step out of the bubble. You can learn about the global world merely by getting to know others and keeping an open mind about their cultures, background, and ways of communicating, working, and living. 

Tip #19: Disrupt your safe haven

Nothing great ever happens in your comfort zone - you've heard it a lot and there's a reason for that. Don't let yourself choose a path simply because it feels comfortable and challenges scare you. Changing your mindset to perceive challenges as opportunities is one way to not merely survive life after graduation but make it exciting! Now that you have time to focus on things outside your university responsibilities, you can push yourself to do things you haven't done. Experiences that may scare you and make you uncomfortable - in a good way! Start with small changes in your routine and see how it feels.

Tip #20: Take care of your physical and mental health

With so many things to consider after graduation, it's vital to take care of your health. A clear mind will help you make the right choices. Get a membership at your nearest gym - if this option is not for you, check out various group classes or do other sports to unwind. Moving your body instantly improves your mood and makes you feel energised

Trying different relaxation activities such as practising mindfulness, yoga, or simply art and music - anything outside of your career and other daily worries - can drastically improve your overall state of mind.

Tip #21: Build resilience to be prepared for hard work and failures

Life after graduation comes with more responsibilities and hard work that you should prepare yourself for. Be prepared that you might not land your dream job right away and it doesn't necessarily mean that you're lacking something for the position. Finding the right fit and standing out from hundreds of applicants is a tough task. Building thick skin for rejections has become essential as it's easy to get demotivated. Moreover, be open to discovering other positions and companies that may suit you - but know when to say no. It's a two-way process: just like a potential employer is evaluating you, you get to choose which organisation is the right fit for you as well.

Tip #22: Keep your support system close 

One way to help you keep going when it gets harder during the process is by reaching out for support. Needing support doesn't mean you're weak. Keep your family and friends that believe in you close and get all the support you need, even if it's emotional. Sometimes, all you may need to boost your energy are the people that support your path and decisions.

Tip #23: Find a work-life balance that works for you 

When you're planning out your career or evaluating possible positions, it's essential to pay attention to work-life balance. Fresh out of university, you may feel like you're thirsting for that exciting job opportunity. While this energy is just what you need for resilience, you also need to make sure you don't overwork which leads to burnout. Create clear boundaries. You might also want to consider if you'd want an onsite, hybrid, or remote work type and adjust accordingly. One skill that will help you in succeeding is time management

Tip #24: Embrace the new phase of your life

Perhaps the main step you have to remind yourself of is enjoying your life after graduation. It may feel like a lot of pressure. Truth is, the way this new phase of life starts depends a lot on how you look at it. So enjoy the new challenges as they are opportunities to grow, meet new people, and gain new skills and experiences. 


As graduates in 2023, you're entering the competitive and global workforce. It's valuable to take various steps. From planning to practising skills, there are many ways to prepare yourself for the world after university. Importantly, don't forget to take care of your health, energy, and mindset as this is the basis for reaching success.

Are you fresh out of university? Try out one of these tips and see how it helps! 

Networking is a word that is used a lot nowadays: networking this, networking that. It’s almost used so much that the meaning is lost. The gist seems to be: it is something you should be doing and doing a lot. Networking is actually pretty simple, and yes, we agree that you should be doing it! So read on to find out what it is, why it's important, and how you can start networking now.

What is networking?

Networking, to say it simply, is meeting and forming contacts with other people in your field of business. More specifically, it is used to form business relationships and to identify, create, or even go through with business opportunities such as expanding to international markets.

Building your social capital

Your social capital is basically your social network. And no, I don’t mean your Facebook or Instagram handle or the movie. It is the people you know, the relationships you form, and the actions you do with and for each other.

Why is it important?

In today’s world, business and otherwise, networking has become extremely important. It might even be essential. Professional networks can lead to more business opportunities and might even further professional statuses. Networking often includes forming relationships with other people in your field or doing similar things as you. This means that you might even find out about job opportunities through your networking contacts.

How does networking work?

You are always networking – whether you know it or not! You probably have contacts through your family, your friends, and your classmates. Even staff, lecturers and alumni are important sources of contact.

Obviously, many of us are still students and are not even close to having any foot forward in our chosen industries. Many of us are not even close to being fully able to cook ourselves dinner. How do you expect us to network when we don’t know what we want to do with our lives? While this is true, the idea and concept of networking are what are important here.

Where can I network?

There are a few scenarios where you can actively network, for example at an internship. If you are working as an intern, you have the opportunity to meet other interns as well as learn from the employees already working at the company. Plus, if you ace your internship and make a really good impression, you will have created contacts that you can re-visit. Maybe in a year you'll want to work there again or after you've graduated you may want a full-time job at the same place you interned at 2 years before.

Another example is societies. If you are part of a university society or organisation, opportunities are being thrown at you! Not only are societies great for having a great time and completing your university experience, you also become part of a community. Many societies nowadays are very ‘legitimate’. They have connections to businesses and other organisations. If you are a writer for the student newspaper, you might have opportunities to network with the local paper, then the city paper, and maybe even a national paper. You never know. Or, if you are part of a volunteering group, you might meet people involved in NGOs. Additionally, as an international student or graduate, there are various expat groups and clubs in the Netherlands that you can join.

There are also sites that are specifically for networking like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really helpful because you can find people with similar interests or work experience as you. Moreover, you can also see the profiles of professionals whose career you admire or want to follow. This can give you some insight into the people you should be meeting or steps you should be taking in your own life and career. Facebook is also another networking site. After all, all your 500 friends have some sort of purpose, right?

Lastly, check out any competitions that might fit your profile and through which you can prove your skills. A perfect example of this is hackathons. Hackathons are events at which you compete as an individual or team by using data for a particular purpose.

So, there you have it. Networking isn't as scary as it sounds and it's not only for working professionals. You can easily network with fellow students, in societies, or at internships. Those are just a few examples. Networking can be applied to almost any social situation! Now go out there and make some new contacts! You'll thank us later.

Do you have any wise words on networking? Let us know!

As a student, you probably have at least one account on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. And we all know that what you put on the internet, stays on the internet.

Did you know? It is a high likelihood that your future employers will search your name on Google to check for any red flags.

Because of this, a negative presence on social media might prevent you from getting the job. To avoid that, we’ve come up with a list of do’s and don’ts when using social media as a student.

This is Not a Lecture on Social Media… Sort of

Social media is great for making new friends or to network professionally. You've heard all stories about celebrities who make a fool out of themselves online, but this also applies to students. Because of this, you need to pay at least some attention to what you post. Even if you delete a picture you regret taking the next morning or a comment on a post, you might still be tagged in other people’s photos.

Of course, you don’t have to stop having fun altogether. No one expects a college student to stay at home 24/7 and stop socializing or going out. You should use social media to your advantage. This starts by being aware of what you are posting!

This is Not a Lecture on Social Media… Sort of

Let’s Do Some Social Media Management



In short, be aware of what you post on your social media or networking profiles because what goes around, comes around. With these do's and don'ts, you'll be the most social media-savvy student ever!

Do you have any tips about using social media as a student? Leave a comment!

If you’ve been reading about labour law or allowances for students, you might have come across the word loonheffingskorting. If you don’t speak Dutch, this word might be quite intimidating or confusion and with good reason! Sometimes, Dutch websites aren’t that detailed and you're probably sick and tired of using Google Translate for everything. Loonheffingskorting is Dutch for "payroll tax deduction", which we’ve talked a whole lot about. What does payroll tax reduction or loonheffingskorting, mean for you as an employee? Let’s find out…

What is Loonheffingskorting All About?

What is Loonheffingskorting All About?

Payroll tax reduction (direct translation: korting op je belasting) basically means that you, as an employee, are able to get a rebate or discount, on your taxes. Less tax is paid by your employer, and you get more pay in your wages. What this means is that your employer takes the general tax discount and labour discount into consideration; these discounts are termed the payroll tax deduction. This is all geared towards students who work while they study and who make additional earnings.

How Can I Get it?

If you work as a student (loonheffing student), then you are automatically entitled to a discount on your tax. Sweet, right? In order to get this discount, you need to ask for it from your employer or benefit agency paying your Dutch payroll. You then need to fill out the form loonheffingsformulier ‘Model return data for payroll fees’, which you can get from your employer.

If you are working for more than one employer at the same time, you can only ask one of them for payroll tax reduction. Make sure you don’t apply for both because then you might have to pay back the tax later. On the bright side, if you work with multiple employers during the year, you can apply for payroll tax reduction with each of them.

When you apply for loonheffingskorting, your employer will need a few bits of information from you. This includes:

Easy, right? Then, your employer takes care of the rest!

You can find the form here, which you can download and then fill out on your computer.

As you can see, loonheffingskorting is actually a really simple process, and takes almost no time at all to complete! If you want, you can read about payroll tax reduction in more detail, where we go through all the stops and find out what it means for both employer and employee.

If you’re preparing to move to the Netherlands for your studies, you may have heard something about a toeslagpartner. While the Dutch word may cause confusion and might sound like some sort of mystical creature, it's actually really simple. A toeslagpartner (translated: benefit partner) is a person you apply for allowances with. If you’ve checked out our guide to allowances, you know that a toeslagpartner can affect how much allowance you can receive. But first, you need to know what a toeslagpartner actually is. And how do you even know if you have a toeslagpartner or not? Well, friends, we have the answers to all your questions!

First of all, what is a toeslagpartner?

A toeslagpartner is a benefit partner, the person with which you apply for government benefits, like the health insurance allowance. The Dutch tax authorities may also refer to it as your ‘payment partner’. You can only have 1 toeslagpartner. 

Who is my toeslagpartner?

Who is my Toeslagpartner?

Most of the time, your payment partner is your tax partner so your spouse or a registered partner. But, most likely, as a student, you are not married. So, in this case, your toeslagpartner might be someone who is registered at the same address as you, like a sibling or housemate.

If any of these scenarios apply to you, then that person is probably your supplementary partner! Here's a list of the conditions required for a person to be your benefit partner, ordered by priority. If the first is fulfilled, then the others don't need to apply.


  1. Are living/signed a cohabitation contract together
  2. Had a child together
  3. Are partners for a pension scheme
  4. Have a home for sale together
  5. Are tax partners for income tax
  6. Were each others toeslagpartner last year in 2016

The order of this list is actually important and not just something we made up (shocking, right). If you live with more than one other person at a registered address, like in a house, the person to which the first situation applies is your toeslagpartner. Picture this: you live with 2 other people, and you have a social contract with one of them and are tax partners with another. In this case, only the first person (so the one you have the social contract with) is your toeslagpartner, since the social contract is higher on the list. The other person is irrelevant (sorry, second person, your time will come).

Other scenarios...

If you live with a relative, like a sibling, then they are your toeslagpartner. However, if you are living at home with your parents, you must be 27 years old or older; otherwise, they are not your toeslagpartners.

As a sub-leaser or if you are subleasing to someone (there’s a difference), which many students might do during their studies, you are not benefit partners!

Still confused and have a slight headache from all of this? You can use this online tool to see who your partner is. Beware: it's only in Dutch.

When are we considered toeslagpartners?

You become benefit partners when you marry or for other reasons like you have bought a house together or signed a social contract together, or any of the aforementioned reasons.

Furthermore, you are benefit partners from the date you started living together if you already live at the same address. So, let’s say you move in together in May, but want to become toeslagpartners in September; even though you register in September, you are partners from May onwards. Have you lived at this address before January 1st, 2019? Then you are partners from the 1st.

Easy-peasy, right?

How does a toeslagpartner influence my allowances?

The amount of allowance you can get, for example for healthcare or housing, depends on your income and your partner’s income. It really depends on the amount of income you have, which is why each situation is unique. You can use this online calculator to see how much allowance you might be able to get. Make sure to have all the details of your supplementary partner when you do this calculation!

So, you see? As it turns out, a toeslagpartner is not some mythical, strange creature. It's simply your partner for allowances! You'll need to know who this benefit partner is when you are applying for healthcare or housing allowance, for example, since their income might influence how much allowance you are able to receive.

Do you have any more helpful information about or experiences with toeslagpartners? Let us know!

One of the first, and most important, things you need to check off your freshman to-do-list is registering yourself. That means going through your city hall registration. You need to do this for a number of reasons, the most important being that you need to be entered into Dutch official records and get a BSN number. This is an important first step to do in your first few days or weeks of living in Holland. Want to find out how to register? Keep on reading!

Why register?

The main reason you need to register at a city hall is to receive your BSN number (Burgerservicenummer). Your BSN number is basically a unique Citizen Service Number. Instead of having multiple identity numbers for social security and tax, you have an all-in-one BSN number. You need to have a BSN number if you are living and studying in Holland.

The second reason you need to complete a city hall registration is so that your details are entered into the Municipal Personal Records Base. Once you are officially entered in the database, people like doctors or accountants can find you and your BSN number in their records.

Why do I need a BSN number?

You need one because you need to be officially registered. Moreover, you need a BSN number to open a bank account, get insurance, apply for allowances, and get a job. If you want to apply for student finance, you also need a BSN number. It makes getting all of these things sorted a lot easier since you don’t need as many documents when you have one identity number. You can read a lot more on the specifics about the BSN number in this post.

You get your BSN number after you register.

Do I meet the requirements?

Basically, there are 3 scenarios where you need to complete a city hall registration.

Either you are Dutch, have a residence permit, or have been living in the Netherlands for more than 4 months.

In reality, almost everyone needs to register their address at a town hall.

Where do I register?

Where do I register

You register at a gemeente, meaning a Dutch municipality. You do this by locating your city hall. For instance, if you live in Rotterdam, you need to register at the city hall in Rotterdam. You should do this within your first week or so of being in Holland if you are planning on staying in the Netherlands for 4 months or more. The sooner you do it, the better!

You can make an appointment directly with the city hall. You can find your city hall by searching for your location and ‘city hall’. On their websites, you can usually make appointments online or by phone. If you know when you will be arriving, it might be best to schedule ahead of time.

However, keep in mind that there are long waiting lists, and it might take weeks to get an appointment. Many universities offer specific time slots for new students to register. You might be able to do this on campus or even book at a time at the city hall. Ask your school or look out for emails or notifications regarding registering.

What do I need to bring to my city hall registration?

As an EU student, you need to bring a proof of identity (passport or ID), proof of address, your original birth certificate, and your housing contract. You also need to make sure they are legalized if need be.

If you are non-EU, you need to show the same documents, perhaps proof of your university enrollment, as well as a valid residence permit. You can also show proof that you have applied for your residence permit.

Non-EU students, listen up

Whether, or when, you get your BSN number depends on the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Depending on where you are from, you might need a residence permit. You can apply for your residence permit first and then register at the city hall. The IND will approve your permit, tell the municipality, and you will be registered. After around 10 days you will get your BSN number.

That was a short guide to registering in the Netherlands. Aim do to it within 5 days of arriving in the Netherlands and check out whether you can register through your university. This is a super important step to studying in the Netherlands, so don't sleep on it!

Do you have any experience with city hall registration? Share it with us!

Are you experiencing pressure now that you are enrolled at a university? Well, often you can blame it on peer pressure. This article will give you the info you need on what peer pressure is and how to avoid it.

What is "Peer Pressure" actually?

It is the type of pressure or influence from your peers that makes you act in a certain way against your will or differently than you usually would. The decisions that you might end up taking can certainly affect your future so this topic should definitely not be taken lightly.

There are two types of peer pressure:

In other words, peer pressure influences you to try and fit in. You need to remember that these influences are powerful and are often subconscious. Although fitting in is one of the main sources, there are also others such as high expectations from friends.

Here are the 9 ways to deal with peer pressure!

Here are the 9 ways to deal with peer pressure!

1. Know when to say NO

2. Follow your heart... but take your brain with you

You should never make rash decisions without thinking twice about them.

3. Remember quality over quantity especially with friends

4. Getting help from grown ups is okay

5. Build the self-confidence you need

6. Make sure that whatever you're doing is your own choice and not due to someone else's influence

7. Act cool when someone is pressuring you

Don't get angry or lash out. Be level-headed and show that you aren't affected by what is being said.

8. Remember, you do not have the obligation to fulfill someone's request

9. Communicate your choices in a short and simple way. If your peers don't like your choices, then it's their loss

All in all, you can't get rid of peer pressure; it will always be there. However, by using the tips above, you will be able to avoid it as much as possible! Make sure to also read our article about networking to strengthen your communication skills which will help build your self confidence. 

The leaders of tomorrow are those who look ahead today. In a rapidly developing world, it is necessary to adapt and stay ahead of the game in order to succeed. We at College Life teamed up with EMERCE to bring you the list of the most important future skills you will need in the following few years.

Take a look at the top 5 future skills to master by 2025!

Cross-Cultural Competence

In a tightly interconnected world, the workforce is becoming increasingly international and culturally diverse.

The perfect future employee understands that there are different customs and cultures. They also aren't afraid to listen and ask questions. Most importantly, they actively seek out knowledge on how to better understand the ever-changing world around them. Thinking of pursuing a career in an international environment? Then also consider adding a foreign language to a list of your future skills and increase your recruitment chances.

Similarly, cross-generational competency is also a key ability to keep in mind. As the workforce by the late 2020s will most likely range from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, the top employees will need to know how to bridge the generational divide and find a common ground.


Gone are the days when you could start a job straight out of school and keep doing the same thing until you retire. The workplace is changing too rapidly to stay in one place and specialize only in one narrow aspect. Experts agree - interdisciplinarity is one of the key future skills to develop before 2025.

If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing workforce, you should be open to expanding your horizons and finding new specializations, not just being good at what you do. The top employees of 2025 are lifelong learners and willing to adapt to the changing environment. In case you're about to enter university, it might be a good idea to pick a minor from a different discipline. If going back to school isn't your thing, the Internet is rife with top-level courses to help you develop and learn new skills.

Critical thinking

A critical thinker is someone who is able to skillfully process, analyze, and scrutinize information. They are able to conceptualize solutions to problems never faced before. Most of all, however, they have the ability to look at their work, and the work of their co-workers, find mistakes and improve upon them.

You can teach yourself to think critically, whether it is during your university courses, internships or job. A good start is being more curious about your job and giving yourself time to review your tasks and think about what could be done better next time. At its core, being a critical thinker is all about allowing yourself and the company you work at to grow.

Emotional intelligence

Sure, it's nice to have a high IQ. But to successfully thrive in the workplace, the ideal employee needs to possess a different kind of intelligence— emotional intelligence.

Closely related to cross-cultural and cross-generational competence, emotional intelligence is a group of 'soft skills' related to identifying, understanding and managing one's own emotions, as well as the emotional states of others.

Even in a highly digitalized world, emotional intelligence is one of the key abilities to possess. According to experts, emotional intelligence is one of the future skills to keep in mind. Employees who are more in touch with their emotional side are proven to be more empathetic, curious and focused. They also work harder and are considered to be more 'marketable' by their employers.

Tech aptitude

Tech Aptitude

You knew this would be our #1. According to Business Insider, the hottest jobs in the next years will be related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Experts predict the biggest demand for data scientists, engineers, and software developers. Interestingly, there will also be a growing need for tech-related positions in other sectors. These include educators, tech-savvy HR professionals, and experts in the legal side of new technologies. So, good news for more humanities or social science-oriented people!

Being able to successfully navigate a digital environment is one of the key skills to have right now. Technology is becoming increasingly advanced and more closely integrated into our lives. As a result, developing new tech-related skills is crucial to succeeding in the workplace.

So, if pursuing a successful career in tech is your dream, you might want to think about learning basic code such as Java & Python.

We don't necessarily mean everyone needs to suddenly become a machine learning engineer by 2025. However, no matter in what sector, the perfect employee in 2025 will be able to operate digital tools used in the workplace (i.e. Microsoft Office, social media, or cloud technology) and be able to quickly adapt to technological changes.

As a student, you spend a lot of time on your studies, part-time job, and social life. This can make it difficult to maintain an active lifestyle, while this will provide the necessary energy that your life needs. Especially if you opt for a protein that is packed with superfoods, you will experience an improvement in sports performance, energy levels & beauty (skin, hair, and nails).

But what should you pay attention to when finding the right protein that will boost your day as a busy student? Read further and learn more about vegan protein. 

When to Use Proteins?

Due to the high protein content, proteins can be taken well after your workout, but also during breakfast, by adding the proteins into 250 ml plant-based milk, yogurt, quark, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. The proteins of Green Harvey contain many superfoods that guarantee boosting energy and other benefits that instantly boosts your day. Suffering from an afternoon dip? Then use the proteins in the afternoon with, for example, yogurt, a smoothie, or another recipe.

You achieve the most optimal results by exercising regularly (3-4 times a week) and also using proteins. No sports for a few days? Then feel free to add the proteins on those days through yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. because thanks to the many superfoods you will still experience good health benefits for your sports performance, energy levels & beauty.

What Should you Pay Attention to?

1. Choose a plant-based protein 

When choosing a protein, there is often the option of choosing either a dairy-based protein (whey protein or casein) or a plant-based protein. What can be decisive for the choice is that both casein and whey protein are a by-product of cheese production and are therefore cheap and readily available. Casein and whey protein also contain milk sugar called 'lactose'. This can cause poor digestion, headaches, pimples, and low energy.

With plant-based protein, there is a much lower chance of these intolerances, so that all the good nutritional values ​​​​can also be absorbed much better. A combination of brown rice protein and pea protein isolate provides a high protein content in, for example, the Vegan proteins from Green Harvey (19 grams per serving). Many superfoods are processed in this and the proteins are also gluten, dairy, and soy-free.

Benefits of Green Harvey proteins:

2. Opt for added superfoods

In addition to the high protein content in a protein, there is so much more to get from a protein, which makes your skin, hair, nails, hormones, mood, immune system, and energy levels even better. This is because superfoods contain many antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that ensure that you will feel better and better in your fitness journey.

Several powerful superfoods that provide these benefits: Maca powder, Cocoa powder, Beetroot powder, Acacia fiber (90% fiber and therefore a full feeling longer), guar gum, stevia.

3. No added sugars

If you want to increase your sports performance and look for a boost for your health through the use of good superfoods, it is best to choose a protein with no added sugars. If there is a high amount of sugar in a protein, you will not achieve the desired results that you have in mind and it is also unnecessary. The BerryliciousCookie Dough & Vanilla proteins all taste wonderfully sweet and are 100% natural. This is due to the natural flavors and the use of natural sugar called stevia (0.2 grams per serving).

Also, the flavors still come out well when the proteins are used in various recipes. For example, add the proteins to plant-based milk, yogurt, quark, or smoothies! But it doesn't stop there… There are many other ways to process proteins. Check out the Green Harvey recipe page for inspiration.

4. Improve gut health

As mentioned above, many superfoods have been added to the proteins that also promote intestinal health. For example, acacia fibers contain 90% fiber and are great prebiotics for intestinal flora. It promotes a feeling of fullness, is gentle on your stomach, can relieve constipation, and also reduce IBS symptoms. The digestive enzymes are also super good to have in a protein. This further reduces the risk of bloating and poor digestion.

Brown rice protein and pea protein isolate contain essential amino acids that your body needs. It is important for processes in your body, such as muscle growth and recovery. This makes the proteins of Green Harvey a 'complete' protein. Our body uses 20 amino acids, but we cannot make 9 of these ourselves. These are the essential amino acids and we must therefore get them from our diet. When a protein source is 'complete', this means that it contains all 9 amino acids and that is the case with the proteins of Green Harvey. Everyone experiences the best benefits because the proteins are then easily digested and better absorbed by the body.

Click here to check out Green Harvey's Vegan proteins packed with superfoods and discover the health benefits for yourself!

While browsing our pages on student finance or allowances, you might have come across the term BSN number. So what exactly is this magic number?

The BSN is a must-have number for all residents in the Netherlands. Even non-residents benefit from getting a BSN when living in the country.

In this guide, we compiled all the basics about a BSN Number, its benefits and uses, the registration process to get a BSN, and much more.

Our BSN Number guide will cover the following:

What is a BSN Number?

What Is A BSN Number?

Simply put, BSN, written in Dutch as Burgerservicenummer, is a unique, personalised eight- or nine-digit citizen service number

Just like the Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique identification number for every individual in the United States, the BSN is an all-around identification number essential for all individuals living and studying in the Netherlands. You will need to have your BSN at hand in most public, financial, and official interactions.

Luckily, the BSN acts as an all-in-one social security, tax, and national identification number in the Netherlands, so one less card to carry in your wallet and three fewer numbers to remember. 

The municipalities record every individual’s BSN and other personal data and store it in a database called The Dutch Personal National Register (written in Dutch as Basisregistratie Personen or BRP).

Some of the personal information saved in the BRP includes:

 Why Do You Need A BSN Number?

Could you live in the Netherlands without a BSN? You can; however, it will take a lot of work as the BSN is necessary for practically all administrative and financial procedures with government institutions in the Netherlands.

Here are some of the services that you need a BSN for:

Other government interactions that require a BSN include receiving a pension, paying your taxes, getting a driving licence, obtaining a mortgage or loan, starting a business, studying at a Dutch school or university, or buying a home in the country.

How To Apply For A BSN Number?

Now that you know what a BSN number is and the benefits of having one, you also need to know how to get a BSN. Applying for a BSN is one of the first things you should do when you arrive in the Netherlands. 

There are many ways to get a BSN. So let’s see how to get one based on your stay, your reason for getting one, etc.

BSN via Regular Municipality

We first need to take a look at the BSN number registration process. You need to head to your nearest municipality (a gemeente). They will register you, and you will automatically receive a BSN number in a few days. There are roughly 388 local municipalities in the Netherlands. Individuals planning on staying for more than four months should preferably register within five days of your arrival.

The documentation required to get a BSN differs slightly for EU and non-EU residents. 

BSN via an RNI Municipality

People living outside the Netherlands or coming to the Netherlands for less than four months to study or work can also obtain a citizen service number (BSN) by registering in the Non-residents Records Database(RNI). You can register in person at one of the 19 municipalities with an RNI desk in the Netherlands to receive your citizen service number.

BSN to receive AOW

Individuals living abroad looking to receive the Dutch state pension (AOW) can get a BSN via the Dutch Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank - SVB). SVB will register your details in the RNI and give you a BSN. 

BSN for inheritance tax

If you require a BSN for inheritance tax purposes, you can apply for a BSN via the Tax and Customs Administration.

 Where Can I Find My BSN Number?

Let’s face it, remembering a telephone number is hard enough for most of us, so what do you do if you forget or lose your BSN number?

There is no need to panic as unlike other numbers found only on specific documentation, a BSN number is mentioned on many government-issued documents and even online.

So here are some of the documents on which you can find your citizen service number:

Tax assessments or return letters sent to you by the Dutch Tax Office, Dutch payslips, and annual salary statements are some other documents you can refer to for your BSN.

If you cannot access any of these documents, there is still a way out. You can go to the Dutch municipality where you are registered and request your BSN number. 

Who Needs A BSN Number?

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is possible to survive in the Netherlands without getting a BSN. But before you think of doing this, read on to know who needs a BSN in Holland: 

Using the BSN to get a DigiID

After you have your BSN number, you should apply for a DigiID which is almost as important. But, what's a DigiID? DigiIDs are used to access online government services. For example, to apply for benefits, and health insurance, and to do your taxes you need a DigiID to log in.

Steps on getting a DigiID:

  1. Request one on the digiID website.
  2. On the first page, fill in your personal details like your BSN, date of birth, postcode, and so on.
  3. Then, choose a username and password. Don't forget it, because then you'll need to reapply.
  4. You will get an email validation.
  5. Then, you will receive a letter with the final activation code. Activate your DigiID within 20 days.

Once you get a BSN, it is yours forever, even if you leave the country. So you can use it if you return later or to claim benefits from abroad. The unique BSN is retired after a person’s death.

When should I deregister?

If you’re moving to a new address within the same municipality, you must inform the local municipality and they will update your address in your BRP records.

But in the following situations, you need to deregister your BSN:


As we reach the end of our comprehensive BSN Number guide, you have seen exactly why BSN number registration is a big deal in the Netherlands. 

You now know what a BSN is, why you should apply for a citizen service number when you arrive in the Netherlands, the registration process to get a burgerservicenummer, the different documents on which you can find your BSN, and when and how to deregister your BSN.

We hope you found this guide helpful. Please share your thoughts and let us know if any information is missing in the comments below.