A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Last period of the 2019/2020 academic year was quite challenging in many aspects due to Covid-19 pandemic. Obviously, as international students, none of us could have imagined that we would be hit by a global pandemic in the middle of our studies. We suddenly found ourselves following the local news in order to get ourselves informed about the measures taken by the governments, deciding whether we should turn back to our home-countries, taking care of ourselves and carrying out with our studies in the middle of everything.
I should admit that I also had some moments that I couldn’t know what to do, how to deal with all the thoughts and emotions going around and concentrate on all the tasks that I had. During these times, I always tried to remind myself that this is yet another challenge in my life to make me even stronger. Looking back now, I can clearly pinpoint some of the things that kept me going, helped me to focus on my studies and made me smile during last months. In this blog, I would like to share one of those moments.
One day, I was about to take the trashes out. When I opened the door, I saw a bouquet of tulips on the floor with a note attached to it ‘Enjoy some tulips during this challenging time’. I took those lovely tulips in, put them in a vase and took good care of them.
This unexpected gift immediately put a big smile on my face. I got happy not only because of this kind gesture. That bouquet also reminded me that although we were self-isolated, we were not alone. Somebody I haven’t event met yet was kind enough to think about me, and apparently other neighbors, and wanted to make my day brighter.
I hope this pandemic will end soon and the world will turn back to the ‘normal’. However, if the future international students will have to face with the same circumstances that class 2020 had to face, I would like to remind you that you are not alone. There are still people out there to listen to you and willing to help you. Do not feel embarrassed to share your feelings, even your fears, with your loved ones. If you are in need, for example you are having troubles to dealing with stress, anxiety or loneliness, do not hesitate to contact with professionals at the additional support services of Leiden University via this mail address.
How did you cope up with pandemic-related stress, anxiety or loneliness as an international student? Let us know in the comments below!