1. How has coronavirus affected your studies?
First of all, my semester started delayed. It usually begins in April, but this year it was postponed to May. Luckily, I had an internship before, which just ended a bit earlier than planned. Others were not as fortunate; they had remaining lessons and exams cancelled and postponed, risking that they could not get into the following course.
Now, most classes are online, which means relaxed working from the home desk, but on the other side, also less contact with fellow students and more screen time. In my opinion, lots of teachers additionally have no feeling for an appropriate workload. Like that, I and many others suddenly have more to do than before – reading and writing just automatically takes more time than discussing topics in class. Also, the tests and exams, as well as the practical works required in some studies such as pharmacy or medicine, have to be adapted.
Some students are having financial issues or fearing they won’t be able to cope with the new situation while having children at home, for example. Therefore, there was a petition to make the current semester a “solidary semester” (not counting for the total time of studies), which sadly didn’t get through. I am not as affected, but I know others that are, so I wanted to name that issue too.
2. How accessible and feasible is for you doing assignments from home?
My university is offering a VPN client, which makes lots of online literature available. Also, our library has a big offer of e-books and online magazines and is continuously scanning more to make it accessible online. Next over, they offer a pick-up service for physical mediums.
The university established a cloud and option for conferences, as well as a technical support team for both teachers and students, to make online classes as easy to handle as possible. I have been doing assignments from home quite often during my studies already, so it is not such a significant change for me.
3. Did you learn anything new or find a new hobby while being in quarantine?
I did not start on something new, but I had the chance to continue on the hobbies I had before studies, which were on a break since then. I have the feeling I got more experienced and skilled in these while spending more time at once on them. I also used a lot of the time for language-learning, preparing intensively for studies and helping out my family.
4. What do you think, how these changes will affect your life or career choices in future?
I am afraid I will have problems starting into work life. Usually, I would write my Bachelor thesis this summer and start looking for a job in autumn. However, with the issues many companies are facing right now, I guess they won’t be easy on hiring freshly finished students that have just been sitting at home for the last months. Moreover, I might need to overthink my career choice. I was planning to get into the book publishing business, but this field has been “attacked” severely, just as many others.