The new normality

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (24) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

Photo by: Annabel Jeuring

Student life has changed drastically. My life has changed. I do not go to classes anymore. I do not see other students anymore. Studying feels more individualistic than ever. Everyone is sitting at home behind their own laptop. Last week I had my first online lecture. Half of the people were late. Just like in real life. But this time because they were not able to log in. Meanwhile, the other half starting typing questions about the professor’s paintings on the wall. He admitted to them being posters actually.

Otherwise, sitting comfortably at home while listening to a lecture at 8.45am was surprisingly relaxing. Once in a while, I even forgot that this was a live lecture instead of a movie. As a result, I had to double check if my camera and microphone were really off before slumping in my chair again. In order to ask questions, the students could turn their microphones on and their name would appear on the screen. People were disciplined in taking turns while I could still enjoy my breakfast.

While I am reading a lot of people are struggling with organizing their time, we have our puppy. A life-saver at the moment when it comes to keeping a steady rhythm. Sleeping in until noon is just not an option with a dog waiting to be taken out. However, he also starts running around the apartment when I am studying. Or when I am skyping. No, I do not have a cat. It is the puppy trying to tear off my sock. Yes, I am still paying attention. What was the last question? Very professional.

Unfortunately, some things also stayed the same though. My deadline for an assignment was approaching last Friday. Despite the newly won time to study, I was fashionably late with starting to work on it. This whole sitting at home situation is requiring a lot of discipline from me. Before I had the option to sit at the library to escape the distractions at home. Now, the game console, dishes and Netflix are within reach at any moment. So, I used the opportunity to clean up my working space at last. I did not even know that the office table was this large. Studying has changed. But with a bit of practice, I am confident this can become our temporary normality.