A passion for biology… and poetry

21 January 2020 | Onderwys
Yandi du Plessis

Jacques Rossouw is a hardworking, purpose-driven 22-year old student currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences at the North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom. Growing up at Omaruru and attending Moria Private School at Outjo, he is a long way from home. He decided on pharmaceutical sciences after receiving a bursary. Of course, it helps that he has a keen interest in biology and a desire to help others. However, there were times when he doubted whether he had chosen the right study course.

The other big challenge he faced was the online admissions process. Especially for an international student, the process can be quite rigorous.

According to Rossouw, freedom is one of the perks associated with the campus experience. “I’ve never had this much control over my own life before. There’s no one to tell you what you can and cannot do.”

He also enjoys the fact that he has more free time to focus on other activities like sports. He finds it refreshing to start over in a place where nobody knows you. Being exposed to new people and new ideas can be refreshing.

“Nothing is expected of you from people who know your parents and expect you to behave in a certain way.” However, he acknowledges that it’s a big responsibility.

The importance of budgeting dawned on him when he started managing his own expenses.

“The biggest surprise I got was how fast money runs out.” Just about every student can attest to this. Not immediately spending all your money in one place takes self-control.

His favourite place on the NWU campus is the Calvyn Fountain in front of the law building, especially at night.

“It’s beautiful, and also romantic. Swimming in the Calvyn is part of the Potch experience. You have to do it at least once.”

He also enjoys visiting the Wag-‘n-Bietjie women’s residence because “they make the best coffee.”

Although Rossouw is a big dreamer (he dreams of owning his own tropical island one day), he likes to think he can be realistic and responsible when it comes to important matters. He plans to continue with his master’s degree next year.

His advice to the next generation of university students is, “Be prepared to do things on your own. Your parents can’t do everything for you anymore. Study hard, otherwise you’re just wasting time and money. Being able to attend university is a blessing, not a right.”

Facts about Jacques:

1. He sucks at English (according to him).

2. He tries his best to be a nerd.

3. He likes writing poems.



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