You NOT on campus – studying in times of corona

Student life is all but dead. Events are postponed, parties cancelled, and the sports centre is closed for the coming weeks. Students try to make the best of their situation in the corona crisis.
Student Josien Hendricksen works from home to organise the AID.

Text: Rijk Dersjant

The student members of the AID board (responsible for organising the annual introduction days) valiantly continue their efforts to organise a successful introduction week from home. ‘We are making every conceivable effort to make this a success,’ says board member Josien Hendricksen (21). ‘Luckily, the AID is still far away. Everyone is at home, and we are collaborating through Skype. We took ergonomic keyboards and mice from the office; everything else we need is available at home. It took a day to figure out what works best, but we were already accustomed to working according to our own schedule. We’re doing fine.’

 We took ergonomic keyboards and mice from the office. 

The AID board monitors the university guidelines closely. Hendricksen: ‘So far, we expect the AID programme to stay as we had planned it. We are still working from the assumption that we will be able to have a normal AID.’ 

Student Annika Suichies and her roommates have drawn up a schedule of activities.

Autonomous studying is not new to nutrition student Annika Suichies (21). Still, she is running into some unique problems in working from home. ‘I now realise how much freedom we normally have.’

 Many commitments are now cancelled, but I need structure. 

 Suichies explains how she shapes her daily routine. ‘I like routine. Many commitments are now cancelled, but I need structure. My roommates and I drew up a mini schedule of small activities we can do together, such as baking a cake or doing a yoga work-out in our student room. We make the best of the situation.’ 

The nutrition student has some practical advice for her fellow students. ‘Find new workspaces in your home. Vary if possible, and if you are free of symptoms, go outside to enjoy nature and get some exercise. A stroll along the dyke can’t hurt, as long as you avoid crowded places. And stay positive, but realistic: use your common sense.’ 

Student Lowell Nelson returned to Canada. He is continuing his studies at WUR online. 

‘I was planning to remain in Wageningen,’ says new student Animal Sciences Lowell Nelson (22), ‘but the universities in Canada recommended oversees students return home. I booked a flight, emailed my professors and packed my belongings. I have no network to speak of in the Netherlands, so I have no idea what to do if I get sick. I thought it better to return home.’

 I booked a flight, emailed my professors and packed my belongings. 

Now that education is offered online, Nelson can continue his courses from Canada. ‘The lectures are posted on Brightspace, and there is an interactive online learning environment. The different timezones make it slightly more challenging, but I’m happy I can continue studying.’

‘I feel that both the Netherlands and Canada are handling the situation well,’ Nelson says. ‘Don’t forget we are fortunate to live in countries where we can wait out the situation in this manner.’

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