You’ve been accepted to the UvA. Soon, you’ll have moved into your overpriced Amsterdam accommodation, almost got run over by three bikes in one day, and seared off the top layer of your tongue with your first bitterballen. But rest assured, you’re by no means the only one who’s been through these staples of the Dutch student experience. When your professor takes so long to grade your paper half the references you used become obsolete, when a caffeine intake that would kill a baby elephant can barely get you through one 9 am class, at least you can take comfort in the traditional art form that is the university meme page.
If you’ve found this article and are reading it from any device other than a fax machine you are probably aware of memes, and it would probably not be a stretch to assume that you’re also familiar with @uva_meme, @uva.memes.faculty, or any of the other active and inactive pages dedicated to immortalizing the struggles of Amsterdam student life. Separate faculties even have their own pages, like @uvaeconmemes and @uvapoliscimemes, where memes get even more specific, engaging students and faculty alike.
But is there more that memes can offer beyond a brief chuckle? Can Pikachu reaction images and screenshots from “The Ofice” be more than just an outlet for frustrated students?
The potential of meme pages is boundless: while you may not have time to read an entire article posted by a student paper (except for this one, clearly), and while you may have long since started ignoring any sort of UVA newsletter memes are a quick and effective way to highlight issues that truly affect the student body. While our current meme pages are undoubtedly funny, it might be interesting to see a more targeted approach to the individual experience of UVA students in particular and the things we should all be more aware of. While any student might relate to the pavlovian-like panic induced by canvas notification, it would be interesting to see meme pages branch out into more specific content- after all, how many of us tend to find out minor news for the first time through Spongebob memes rather than newspapers?