Who would have thought that the Erasmus experience can be minimalized at the size of a dorm room or an apartment? People all over the world are facing major life disruptions, because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Coping with the quarantine is far from resembling anyone’s dream. And with Erasmus mobility program going through an atypical situation itself, the students may find themselves in difficult situations, like deciding which way is better, continuing or going back home or how to manage this time.
Every one of us has a different perspective on what is better and where is safe. As unexpectedly as this moment happened, as calculated the decision of parting from the Erasmus experience has to be. Given the implications of travelling and, besides that, the restrictions, it may be for the better to stay as isolated as possible and reduce any interaction with places and people. The most striking feeling among the Erasmus community is probably confusion, which is why you should all consider very carefully your options.
During these tormented times, when the whole world is slowly trying to mend its wounds and fight the pandemic, all of us have to try to find alternative ways to spend all this time in our advantage. This quarantine time could easily turn into one of the best moments to go back to an old passion, reach out to a friend you haven’t talked in a while, read that book you avoid or maybe write it yourself, discover new hobbies and enjoy all the possibilities that the internet provides us with. Stop postponing the activities you have to do, but never got enough time or motivation to undertake! Get busy creating a new life in the safety of your room! And if there is no news until now, it is important to mention that if we don’t have a choice when it comes to going outside, enjoying the blossom of spring, feeling the excitement of being an Erasmus student, wandering through unknown streets, we still have a choice in how we can valorize this quarantine.
Finding motivation from within can be a hard task, given the circumstances, the life as we knew before, the anxiety about what will happen and when is it going to be safe to go back to our routines. But now that everything switched from face to face interaction to online classes and meetings, spending time in front of a screen can be either a way to stay in the productivity zone by learning new things, either a way of giving in to the pressure of the news. It is only up to what you want to take and make from this situation.
Going back to the core of ESN’s mission, “students helping students”, it is the best time to show that we are all in this, even if being there for each other turned into being more or less away from each other. The silver lining would be that being optimistic about the situation and hoping for the happy ending are healthy thoughts to occupy your mind with during the current moments. Of course, there are lots of feelings of regret and anxiety, but we should all take into consideration the bigger picture. Protect the people around you, by protecting yourself!