‘My motto is “Just be you”. I haven’t always succeeded in that. In my second year of secondary school, I wasn’t sure who I was and I battled with my own identity. Was I bi, transgender or homosexual? That's why I just chose to portray myself as a standard boy. I was quiet, said little and pushed myself into a corner. When I was certain that I was homosexual, I was scared of what people would think of me. It was the saddest time of my life. I felt trapped. That lasted for two years. Things only changed when I surrounded myself with people who accepted me for who I was.One of my greatest sources of inspiration is Ariana Grande. It’s in part because of her that I can be myself now. The song Break Free had a major impact on me. It is about that it’s time to break free, for you to be who you are. It gave me the helping hand that I needed.She came to The Netherlands in 2017. I set aside all the money I had earned to pay for a meet & greet with her. Of the over 1,000 people that registered for it, my best friend and I were among the 60 people who were given a chance to meet her. I was over the moon and all I could do was cry. When the time finally came nine months later, I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. I have never been so nervous in my life. I told her how grateful I was to her, that, as an artist, she had meant so much to me and that her music had given me the strength to “just be me”. She was so sweet, even though I can’t remember the exact conversation any more. The security guards had to pull me away and I stumbled which made us both laugh. Afterwards, I sat and stared at nothing for a moment and then I burst into tears. Her tour manager comforted me’. Just Koolmees (19), second-year Communications student
JUST A MOMENT
Every day, you see dozens of faces passing by. in the Atrium, on the stairs, on your way to class. Behind each face is a unique story. This series of interviews, inspired by ‘Humans of New York’, gives readers a little peek into the lives of students and staff at THUAS.
#justamoment #thuas #thuaslife #thehagueuniversity #arianagrande #breakfree #justbeme