A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
First and foremost, I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy during this outbreak.
I heard about the news that the university will be closed until April 1st while I was hanging around with my classmates after a lecture. Since then, as like many of yours, my life has changed dramatically. However, it felt very surreal to me when the university announced that there will be no more face-to-face education taking place for this academic year.
It was then I realized that the lecture we had on that Thursday afternoon was actually the very last time that we came all together with my classmates for a lecture. I felt devastated when I realized that I will not be able to attend the lectures, get coffee with my friends during the breaks while chitchatting, have lunch together and spend the entire afternoon in the library accompanied by the everlasting breaks anymore.
Upon these news, many of my friends considered to turn back to their home countries. As some of them decided to do so, in the end, some of them chose to stay in The Netherlands. However, due to social distancing and self-isolation measures, there is no more possibility for us to come together as easy as it used to be (by the way, please stay at home guys!).
To give a bit more info about me, I am an extravert. Needless to say, socialising is an essential daily need for me and my friends are very important in my life. Therefore, for the last couple of weeks were rather hard on my side. Yet, I try to keep myself connected with my friends by sending them a text message or just give them a call whenever I feel down or just to ask how they are doing. By doing this, I try to keep myself motivated and socially-active.
Regardless from being an introvert or extravert, I believe that staying connected with your social environment is extremely important to handle the situation we are facing with nowadays. That’s why in this blog, I would like to encourage you to send a simple message to your friends asking how they are doing or to give your parents a call. Especially considering some of you live by yourselves, I believe staying connected with your social environment digitally may help you to feel better. In other words, do not ‘digitally’ isolate yourself as well! Stay connected to each other.
Last but not least, I also would like to encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings with each other. You should not forget that your family and your friends are always there to listen to you and help you if needed. It just takes a message to reach them out!
I hope that sharing your thoughts and emotions will be helpful during these days!
Stay safe, connected and healthy!