‘Since we’re inside, we also have time to look at ourselves’

| Rense Kuipers

In this series, Through the Looking Glass, photographer Annabel Jeuring stops by at student houses to portray students in their current, isolated reality. This eighth – and final – episode: Ana Maria Amaral, MSc student of Business Administration.

‘The situation still feels quite weird, but I must say I’m dealing with it quite well. It is what it is. I’m happy with our living situation and that the Dutch government still allowed people to have some freedom and to take their own responsibility. Even the weather has been great for Dutch standards. I started my Master’s back in August and I didn’t have that many classes anymore when the quarantine begun, and now I’ve started working on my thesis.

I live in Pathmos, near the city centre, and I’m currently here with one of my housemates. Even though we’re both busy enough, we still see each other regularly. I’ve been working out more than ever, by doing yoga and going for runs in the nearby Volkspark. But I also spend quite some time in the kitchen and I’ve been experimenting more. I’m apparently one of the many people who started baking banana cakes. I’ve also asked my mom for her carrot cake recipe, which is covered with brigadeiro, a very typical Brazilian chocolate spread. And I’ve introduced my roommate and friends to a Brazilian cheesebread dish, called Pão de Queijo.

Staying in touch with my friends here and my friends and family back home isn’t that hard. We celebrated Mother’s Day plus my birthday last Sunday, while I was having dinner over here and my family back home in Brazil was having lunch. I love that we can still do these kinds of things. And I’m even talking to them more often. It feels like people in general were too busy for that before this crisis situation. Now everyone has the time and eagerness to talk more often and keep in touch. And since we’re inside, we also have time to look at ourselves and reflect on what’s really important. Still, our generation never went through something like this before, so we need to be creative, open and transformative. Uncertainty is a constant, so why not make the best out of it?’