As a world, we’ve largely become adjusted to the regulations taking place where we need to stay home when experiencing any sickness, staying home when possible, and limiting interactions with people. During the last semester
, everything was very new, uncertain, and a bit worrying. Myself and friends mostly stayed home, leaving when we needed to go to the grocery store. That study period was quite draining. As many of us are now aware, it is very tiring just to sit in front of our computers in Zoom meetings all day. The summer offered great opportunities to spend time outside
and explore new areas of Sweden.
The last study period started at the end of August. It was mainly online for most people, with on-campus elements for some courses like labs. I had only one lecture on campus. It was in a large room where we could spread out, and it was SO nice to see classmates, many of which I hadn’t seen since March. The rest of the time, my courses were online. With the number of cases down in Sweden and campus being open, I got in the habit of meeting up with a small group of friends to work on courses together. Even when we weren’t taking the same classes, it was nice to sit with a couple of people to work on things and chat during breaks. I really think this was helpful mentally this study period. I felt that my courses, in general, ran more smoothly than in the spring. Everyone has had experience with online classes now, so both teachers and students have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.
At the beginning of the study period in autumn, a group of students including myself organized some outdoor events for students in our programme. We knew that it would be a more difficult semester with being unable to see people in person, especially for first-year students. Setting up a few outdoor meetups was a great way for us to see our classmates and meet new ones. I think the first-year students really appreciated the opportunity to meet the people they had seen online but had not met.
With the nice weather in the last study period, I think people were happy to meet up outside more, and I didn’t participate much in online after works like last spring. Now as it becomes colder and darker here in Gothenburg and Sweden, restrictions and recommendations may change. I will be interested to see how we transition our activities to stay connected. I was somehow once again taken by surprise by the early darkness this autumn, and I am trying to resist the urge to put up Christmas lights in early November in order to make staying home feel cosier. We’ll see how long I hold off!