A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

It All Started With A What If…

The time I started writing for this blog, The Leidener, was a time when I left my comfort zone. It was all new to me, sharing my words with not just a selected few but everyone. It was exciting and I was very enthusiastic about the whole thing. But then… I got too comfortable and The Leidener also became a part of my comfort zone.

I needed change, a challenge to get me off the routine. Wonderful things don’t happen in comfort zones and the moment you step outside, there’s a beautiful world waiting to be explored and a path waiting to be lit by you. Thus I try to challenge my comfort zone every once in a while. Then, out of the blue, came exactly what I needed! I saw a post on Facebook about BAISMAG, the monthly magazine of BA International Studies and it went something like this:

Could there be a more inspiring scene than our beautiful city of The Hague, covered in red and golden autumn leaves, agitated by the strong Atlantic winds that whirl wildly through the alluring alleyways of Noordeinde? No, which is why you should grab pen and paper, get cozy in the most comfortable couch you can find and let your pen work its magic.


So grab this chance to contribute to the WHAT IF issue, coming out in December.
WHAT? Articles, artwork, poems, songs, Let’s Get Naked and Draw…
DEADLINE: Saturday 22nd of Nov, midnight.

I was so excited once again, what-if’s were my life! I live by the saying “I’d rather have oh-wells than what-ifs.” and like many people I could relate to the topic, maybe a little too much… I was going to do this! I’ve always been meaning to write for BAISMAG but never got around to it however this time it was going to be different.

Then there was trial and error, words written and thrown to the corners of the room. I wrote a poem, didn’t like it. Turned it into a short story, didn’t like it. I kept trying while taking incredible amounts of caffeine to no end. Then, once again, came a miracle. One night I was sitting around with friends and one sentence prompted me into writing. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and started writing while everyone else kept talking. It felt good not having to force the words out but have them pass through and find shape on the screen. Time passed by and when the last day of submission came, few hours before the deadline I copied the piece, edited it and sent it off exactly at midnight. I felt fear, anger and madness at first but all that left its place to many amazing first-times for me.

I wrote a short story for the first time. I got published for the first time. Saw my name ready to be printed for the first time.

So what I’m getting at is…

The other day I saw a quote that said “The new year means nothing if you’re still in love with your comfort zone.”  and I couldn’t agree more. So take the upcoming year as an opportunity, leave your comfort zone and be ready to be amazed by all the possibilities.

Here you can access all issues of BAISMAG and here is the link to the latest What If issue.

The short story, The Three Paths, on page 12 is the one I wrote if you would like to check it out, hope that you will like it! (Illustration by Yonca Zaim)

It is still finals week for most of us but the holiday spirits caught up with me (in November already as I’m a Christmas enthusiast!) and so I’d like to say Happy Holidays!

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2014 by in Ecesu, Student Life and tagged , , , , .

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