Love stories Tilburg University

Paired off thanks to the Tilburg University surname system

Love story 4 min. Swaans Communicatie

Many loves have their origins on campus, though not all of them last. Some campus couples are still together to this day. Towards the university's 100th anniversary, we collect their love stories. Joyce Jorritsma and Job Krijnen met in Tilburg in 2006 when they both started their Psychology program. She was eighteen, straight out of secondary school. They had no idea how life-changing that step was going to be. Not only for their studies and personal development, but also in the field of love. They look back together.

Joyce: “Tilburg University divided students into groups based on surname, so we ended up in the same group for the introduction week (TIK-week). I had already noticed Job at the study association’s introduction camp and I thought he was a nice guy. Carola and Jasper were the other members of our group. We clicked; Carola is still my best friend.” During the introduction week, Job and Joyce exchanged a first kiss. But that was all. 

Joyce en Job Studententijd

We were just friends for a long time. And neither of us had been in a relationship before. That made the step from friendship to a relationship a big and exciting one.

Kissing wager

It was another eighteen months before they kissed again. And then it is only for a wager, in exchange for a drink. However, from then on things slowly get more serious. Job: “We were just friends for a long time. And neither of us had been in a relationship before. That made the step from friendship to a relationship a big and exciting one.” But gradually kissing leads to staying over. Staying over leads to spending the day together. And the days turn into weekends. Until they decide, after a party: we are getting serious here.

Video calls to Down Under

Shortly afterwards, Joyce goes on an internship to Australia, together with best forever friend Carola. “The opportunity presented itself, I was excited and seized it. And I went.” It proved to be a good test for their relationship. Job reminisces: “There was the time difference between the Netherlands and Australia and internet connections at the time were not what they are today. We had video calls and when Joyce went traveling after her internship, we e-mailed each other a lot. When she returned after five months, it was clear: we got through this and we stand together as a couple.” 

Side jobs and first career moves

It is now 2010, economically not the best of times. Job therefore decides to take another Master’s after his Economic Psychology program. “I thought: if I can stay at the university a little longer, I have a better chance of landing a nice job after those two years.” He exchanges his sideline at the cafeteria next door at Korvelseweg for that of lab manager at Tilburg University. Joyce mostly has side jobs in bars and restaurants. When, after graduation, she prefers working in education to becoming a therapist, she also goes back to university: “Job spotted a flyer offering the opportunity to be a teacher for a day. That is what I did and it was the start of my career as a teacher. I thought: ‘This is what I want to do.’” 

Los Angeles is a very international place. We met people from all over the world. And the two of us got on very well.

Job en Joyce in LA

Los Angeles, here we come!

In that period, Job completes his Research Master’s and then becomes a researcher and instructor at Tilburg University. After his PhD, he lands a research job in Los Angeles. They move to America together. Job: “We had to be married to get a green card. So we got married on a Monday morning in a small office at city hall; to us, it was just an administrative step.” “Our period in the United States was great,” Joyce states. “Los Angeles is a very international place. We met people from all over the world. And the two of us got on very well.”

All the trimmings

Job: “Separately from each other, we increasingly found ourselves pondering the idea of getting really married, with all the trimmings. Which is strange, because we never used to see the point.” Unbeknownst to each other, both partners prepare to propose. Joyce is the first to pop the question. She proposes to Job in the Fall of 2018 when they are holidaying in the Netherlands. Place of action? Tilburg University. “I took Job out, saying we should spend a fun day in Tilburg.” Job is confused. “We had a very busy schedule that week. There were many people we wanted to visit and precisely on our ‘day off’, Joyce wanted to go to Tilburg. I remember thinking: if we walk across the campus, there is a good chance of running into all kinds of acquaintances. That is not going to be very restful. However, Joyce insisted and she took me to the place where we had first met. Then there was a letter as well as a proposal. It was a total surprise, but a great one, of course. I totally got it why she chose the spot that had been so important to us in those first eight years.” At the time of the proposal, the couple is still living in Los Angeles. They want to get married upon their return to the Netherlands, but it is going to be a little tight. As a result of the Covid crisis, the wedding is postponed two more times. Ultimately, the big day is on August 12, 2022.  

Hairy housemate

Job and Joyce are now living in 's-Hertogenbosch, with their housemate Jopie the dog. Joyce works at Fontys in Eindhoven, Job has a job as a researcher at the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) in Amsterdam. “‘s-Hertogenbosch was an informed choice. After three years abroad, we wanted to be close to family and friends so we opted for Brabant, and the commute from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Amsterdam is not too bad.” Both of them continue to benefit from their studies in their jobs. Joyce is a teacher and coordinator of the HRM program, with an important focus on psychology. At the AFM, it is Job’s job to explore how people make choices about complex financial products, a task in which his knowledge in the field of Economic Psychology comes in very useful.

Job en Joyce

We have been together for so long now that we look at things in the same way

New adventures

The wedding in 2022 was a festive occasion, with their parents, friends, and other family around them. Why they fell for each other and are still together after all those years? It is very clear to Job: “We are alike, we both have a relaxed and flexible attitude to life. Joyce is an initiator who is always up for anything. She is energetic and of a cheerful disposition, that is what I like about her.” Joyce: “Job is great, he completes me and is a beautiful person both inside and out. We have been together for so long now that we look at things in the same way.” And they have plans for the future. “Los Angeles certainly wasn’t our last foreign adventure. When we are abroad, we get to spend much time in each other’s company. And experience has taught us: that is when we are at our best!”

Do you have a Tilburg University love story too?

Did you meet the love of your life at Tilburg University? Did sparks fly immediately? Or did it take a little longer for your feelings to grow? 

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Date of publication: 9 October 2023