Humans of IBCoM: Lucille Noël

 I interviewed Lucille Noël who has been a vegan for around a year and a half. As a vegetarian who is interested in turning to a vegan lifestyle, I found it useful to have a conversation with Lucille to learn more about a transition to a vegan lifestyle. First, I asked her about the inspiration which lead her to adopt this lifestyle.

“My sister’s best friend was a vegan and I didn’t know what it was at all. I was around twelve years old at the time. I remember that she was into animals and everything. I really wanted to be like her [because I cared as well] and started to ask questions. She was my big inspiration.”

After getting her initial opinion about veganism, she began to her journey and she described her first week as a vegan in three words: hard, proud and generous.

She said,  “It’s crazy to spend an entire week knowing that you didn’t do anything wrong to anyone”, while she was explaining why she felt proud and generous. Also, when I asked her to describe her last week, she said “It is easier now. It became a habit and, a word I can use to describe this;  ‘healthy’.

It is not an easy task to be a vegan for more than a year so I wondered if she ever regretted her change in lifestyle. 

“Of course, there are some days that you’re frustrated. But you are so proud of what you are doing, then you feel no regrets. Also, I know I could go back always I want to.”

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Humans of IBCoM: Juneal Holder’s Secrets to Happiness

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Juneal Holder is a BA-1 IBCoM student from Curaçao who is a positive influence on all who meet him – especially me. But getting to IBCoM wasn’t the most linear journey for Juneal.

“I moved to the Netherlands in 2013 when I finished high school…after a “spiritual awakening” in 2015, I quit my previous studies, International Business and Management Studies. After than, I wanted to take some time to get to know myself better before I went back to school. A few months passed and I applied to study International Psychology at Erasmus at the beginning of 2016, but was not admitted into the program. This led me to look for other alternatives and I saw a big potential in Communication studies. Because I was not allowed to enrol in an international communication program in English that year, I settled to study in Dutch. This did not last long as I never wanted to study in Dutch in the first place. By quitting the program that did not fulfil me, I went on to looking for a proper international communication program – and that’s how I found IBCoM. It was not easy for me to get in, but I’m here now. And I love it!”

Being the influence he is, I asked him about the kind of people he looks up to; “[I love] Authentic people – people that are not afraid to know themselves, deal with themselves and express themselves are my biggest role models. People who don’t let situations define them serve as role models to me. People who, when the world told them ‘no’, responded with a ‘watch me’ inspire me.” That is the kind of person we should strive to be.”

All those who have met Juneal know him best for lifting everyone’s spirits just by being there, and his well deserved accolade for being so at the IBCoM Awards. “[My] Secrets to happiness? Gratitude and appreciation. Appreciate as much as you can, as often as you can. This will lead to contentment. The more moments of contentment one has, the happier one will be. Other practices such as developing myself, not taking things people do or say personally and doing what I love also help me with a more happy life.”

Juneal is also a blogger, and has recently started writing again. His inspiration for publishing his work again came from a very interesting source, “Emptiness. I had a very low period last year. This low period made me feel empty many times. The emptiness is what got me back to writing. I wanted to be more in alignment with a more purposeful version of myself and I am finally getting back there.”

“My writings at the moment include Notes To Self and Songs For Soul. The Notes To Self are kind of like conversations I have with my Higher Self; that part of me that has wisdom that I can tap into at any time. I give myself advice in these Notes To Self. Songs For Soul are songs that inspire me. I have compiled a playlist of over 100 songs that have helped me, inspire me, or just make me feel good. I pick a song or two every week and write about them and include the lyrics in the blog posts. I also do amateurish photography. I see my blog evolving as I also evolve. The next thing is to get back to creating videos that can also be found on YouTube and on the blog.”

“For the people that visit my blog, I want to create content that makes them think for themselves, some food for thought, a source of inspiration in my content, a reminder that we can be as amazing as we want, with unlimited potential, able to express ourselves in many ways, and the heroes of our stories.”

You can visit the blog at https://junealholder.blog/ for some uplifting content from Juneal!

Humans of IBCoM – Meet Sofian Netta

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Although the spring officially has begun, the weather has decided to keep us in the grey winter mood. Thankfully I received a little sun myself from Sofian’s smile when I had the chance to talk to him this week. Hearing what he has been up to this year, I’m surprised he actually had the time to talk to us. Currently, Sofian is not just doing IBCoM, but also the double degree in Philosophy and even a Bachelor’s in Economics at a university in Germany. What more does he want to learn?

“I would really like to speak Chinese. I don’t know why, but I really would like to. The first thing I would like to learn to say is ‘I would like to order this or that food’, and ‘how much is it?’. I love Chinese food and I would like to be more knowledgeable about the language. Also I think it would be really fun to go to Chinese restaurant here in Rotterdam and speak to them in Chinese. They would hopefully really appreciate it.”

Although he cannot speak Chinese (yet), Sofian did tell us about something else he learned. A talent of his that not many people might expect from him. “I went to a music preschool of some sort and said I wanted to learn an instrument, I just didn’t know what instrument. My teacher then suggested to learn to play the violin, which turned out to be a good choice. After that, I played it for about twelve or fourteen years, and I was actually really good at it!”

“At some point, however, I didn’t want to do it anymore, because I had a really strict Russian violin teacher. It took me a lot of time, practising everyday, for at least one or two hours. Especially when I got into puberty, I was done with it. However, now I regret that I quit, because I was really enjoying it at the time and I feel like I’m never going to get as good as I was back then. I grew up with it, but now that there has been such a long break since I played, I kind of lost the feeling in my fingers.”

When asked what the craziest thing that happened to him was since he started studying IBCoM, Sofian remembered his roommate experience during the first year. “My experience of starting to live with other people as roommates was really bad at the start. We did not get along at all and throughout the year it even got worse. One time, in the beginning, I tried to be nice and went to the market to buy food for all of us and some flowers, and I placed them in the living room. But my roommates were getting really mad about me getting flowers. They were literary screaming at me. I still don’t understand why they got mad over that.”

Fortunately, Sofian kept smiling throughout both his first and second year of IBCoM and I cannot remember a time I have seen him without a smile on his face. There are many small things in life that make Sofian smile constantly. We should all enjoy the small miracles and happy moments in life, which can be found anywhere, as Sofian noticed. “When I’m waiting for the metro and I’m standing right at the point where the door stops, that makes me really happy. It is the most satisfying thing ever.”