Can the university change life?

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Normally, the students would come back from the semester break well rested: many would have taken a trip, chilled on the beach, discovered an interesting city, finally sorted their university documents in peace and prepared themselves perfectly for the upcoming lectures. But: everything is different now due to the Corona crisis.

Research project canceled

Mathias, 23 years old, 8th semester studies sociology at the Technical University of Berlin

What has changed for you as a result of the Corona crisis in your studies?

I work as a student assistant at the university and our research project can no longer continue as we had planned. We are working on redesigning streets to make them more equitable between pedestrians, cyclists and cars. We actually wanted to go to Vienna soon, because there are already such new meeting areas there. The excursion is now canceled.

What are you missing personally?

I haven't seen my parents, who live in Frankfurt, at all this year. I miss our family get-togethers and I am worried about my father who is at risk. Of course, I also miss my friends - meetings only take place online. How this kind of "physical distancing" will anchor itself in our social memory remains to be seen. Perhaps a permanent state of fear creeps in towards other people. Or exactly the opposite: that after the current ban on contact is relaxed, far too many meetings will take place and everything will be exaggerated.

Flat share is not a home right now

Alix, 19 years old, 2nd semester studies art history at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn

What has changed for you as a result of the Corona crisis in your studies?

At the beginning of the semester break I went to Frankfurt to see my parents and wrote a seminar paper. Now I'm kind of stuck here. Actually, I live in a flat share with four roommates in Bonn, but none of them has yet returned to our student apartment - I don't want to go back to the many rooms all by myself. Student life, which for me has only just begun, is not going on for the time being.

My university is very well organized and prepared, I think. There will probably be a purely online summer semester and it looks like I'll be spending that with my parents in my children's room. The practical exercises at the university, for example a photography course, will probably not take place. I think that's a shame; I was really looking forward to it.

What are you missing personally?

Like everyone else, I miss my friends. It feels weird not being able to visit my best friend who lives down the street.

I would really like to sit in the sun in a café again and just enjoy the atmosphere there. But on the whole I'm in a good mood, I'm not bored. But sometimes I ask myself: when can I have my life back?

Recipe for "Banana Bread à la Alix"

Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
200 g grated apple, applesauce or apple pulp
200 g spelled flour mixed with coconut flour (if you like)
1/2 pack of baking powder
2 eggs
cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut blossom sugar and / or 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Preparation:

  • Grate the apple and place in a bowl with the mashed bananas. Add the eggs and stir into a pulp.
  • Add baking powder, flour, cinnamon and sugar.
  • Place in an oblong cake tin and bake at 180 degrees fan-assisted for about 40 minutes.

Denise, 24 years old, is studying Health Science in the 2nd semester at the Technical University of Munich

What has changed for you as a result of the Corona crisis in your studies?

The biggest change is that my student job in gastronomy was no longer available. All the pubs and restaurants are closed, including the Italian restaurant where I worked to finance my studies.

I found a new job through an agency: clearing shelves in a supermarket. Twice a week for eight hours - that's okay. I don't get any more shifts because a lot of students are currently looking for new jobs.

In the coming semester, a lot or even everything will be done online at the university. I don't think that's so bad for the lectures. I can decide for myself when and how many to look at. I just can't really imagine what the seminars will be like: we also work in groups there in a very practice-oriented manner. How will it be now?

What are you missing personally?

Clearly the physical contact to loved ones. Hugging someone as a greeting or saying goodbye and also being hugged yourself. I miss that very much. In general: to be able to move around freely, go to a bar with friends in the evening and be together.

On the other hand, I now have a lot of time for myself. Normally one says so often: “I have no time for this and neither do I”. Now there is the time and suddenly I write things down, I meditate, look at nature while going for a walk. I care more about my mental and physical health, for example I go jogging again.

Entry into the job is uncertain

Lion, 30 years old, is studying secondary school teaching in the 9th semester at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich

What has changed for you as a result of the Corona crisis in your studies?

The state examination exams have been suspended indefinitely since mid-March. I'm still missing two, but I'm confident that they will take place in May at the latest. My study schedule is mixed up and it's not easy to study for an exam that doesn't have a fixed date.

I have registered for the legal traineeship, which is due to start in September.

But what happens if I fail or won't pass one of the exams? Can I write them up until August?

Ultimately, I think that communication with the university works well online. The video chat learning group is also varied and fun. I think school and learning are possible digitally. And if a virus should come again, we are better prepared with our current experience.

What are you personally missing?

Friends, family - of course! But also the basketball club, training in a group. There are virtual training sessions, but it's not the same as playing with and against each other. Exactly the same goes for the choir. Our choir rehearsals are now taking place on Skype. The acoustic signal usually arrives with a delay. But we still have fun and we just keep practicing - we want to perform again someday.