[Column] You write the columns, don’t you?

Student Bas Rooijakkers has written columns for Delta for a year now and is sometimes recognised on the street.

Bas Rooijakkers: “Until a new Cabinet takes office, I’m holding my breath.” (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)

It is now over a year ago that I became a columnist for Delta. I want to talk about it in this column.

What I want to concentrate on is the fame that you have when you write columns. It sounds as though I can’t even go to the supermarket without security, but fortunately it’s not that bad. But unfortunately, I have not yet been invited to take part in the Dutch TV shows De slimste mens (the cleverest person) or Wie is de mol (who is the mole). I also doubt whether I would be recognised if I sat down on a bench in my All Stars all day and look around pointedly. What I do see is that my friends and their friends know that I write columns. I often get asked “You write the columns, don’t you?” at parties.

It’s fun to be recognised and, if I am asked, I enjoy checking whether they are fake fans or real ones. Most people quickly admit that they have not read everything or not read anything, but funnily enough, there are people who have read your columns. My ‘columns’ are really usually opinion pieces as I enjoy substantiating my views. This sometimes gives rise to discussions about my views. The discussions are often about the leading sentence in the article that is taken out of context, and in the end, you are often in agreement. The interactions are usually pleasant, but I also sometimes hear “I thought your last column was bad”. With no supporting information. Try to get to sleep with a comment like that going round in your head.

I am a touch narcissistic

Being recognised for your columns is usually fine, but it does sometimes happen in the most random places. I was at Lowlands this summer and someone with dilated pupils tapped me on the shoulder. This was the first time that I heard that my columns were chill.

After one year I have also learned to write better. I still clearly remember when I submitted my first piece with great confidence. That confidence ebbed away when I got the article back from the Editor-in-Chief covered in red markings. After a few revised versions it was approved and I heard that this is a learning process. The red markings have now halved and the Editorial Office no longer needs to wonder how they can make something intelligible from my pieces.

I enjoy it immensely, but it remains an effort to get your thoughts down on paper in an organised fashion. I am a touch narcissistic and think that my opinions are very important. I secretly enjoy it if people recognise me from my columns. Even if the interactions can be crazy.

Bas Rooijakkers is a master’s student in Applied Physics. He was born in Brabant and spent part of his youth on Curaçao. He enjoys jogging and since the corona pandemic has also picked up cycling. He is also always in for a coffee or a craft beer.

Bas Rooijakkers / Columnist

Columnist Bas Rooijakkers

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