The first month of the new year is already over and we can all agree: it has been a dynamic period where the light at the end of the tunnel is still too small at this point. The coronacrisis makes us all think. During this crisis, more attention also came to the wellbeing of students. Because during this crisis, it turned out that not every young adult has a carefree student life. We write this letter for those students. Are you not feeling good about yourself? That’s okay! Even the members of the USR sometimes lose track. Therefore, in this letter we tell our own stories. Maybe they offer recognition, hope and inspiration. The goal is to encourage you to look out for and support each other.
The year should feel like an express train, but sometimes I feel like I’m standing still. I tried using the corona crisis to get answers to questions. Eventually I found them and that means change. I find that quite exciting. Making the right choice and following your own heart is not always easy. I used to be incredibly good at portraying negativity unto myself. In recent years I have made an effort to accept my own imperfections and to focus on my talents. The perfectionism may be a little less. With some help, I have learned to get happiness out of myself and trust my own resilience. In addition, I have come to realize how much I can count on my circle of friends. I wish every student, nay everyone this same investment. We need to take the time to listen carefully to our own needs.
In the first lockdown I did the cliché lockdown activities, I made about 10 jigsaw puzzles, and went for a walk every day. In addition, I watched web lectures and wrote my thesis. Of course I followed the news closely, the numbers were my common thread through the days. What still felt relaxed during the first lockdown is now completely different: studying in times of corona is just not fun. Sitting at home behind your laptop feels lonely and the lack of social contact while studying is a huge miss. Despite all the efforts of teachers who try to make the best of it in all sorts of ways. As annoying as it is, the fact that we are all in the same rotten situation means that you can draw support from each other. By taking a walk together, organizing fun activities online, or simply just having a good time whining uninhibitedly. Know that you are not alone!
In the first lockdown, things didn’t go too well for me for a while. During a Skypecall with my project group, I was sad, but I didn’t tell them that I was troubled by anything. After the meeting I got a message from a groupmate: “Hey, are you okay? You sounded a little down just now”.
When I think back on this, I mostly remember how surprised I was. Surprised that someone took the time to listen to my story sincerely and without judgment, and that someone was curious about how I was doing. That makes me sad. Shouldn’t that be the norm? Investing in each other, taking the time to listen to someone’s story? It’s such a small effort to ask someone to take a walk together or send a message to ask how things are going, but it can mean so much to that person! Who are you going to send a message to?