Complications for students in corona time

Oxford Language dictionary defines “complication” as “a thing that is hard to accomplish, deal with, or understand” and in my personal humble opinion it certainly summarizes my post. But, let’s take it back a little bit… January 2020 I applied for a Bachelor degree program in a university of applied sciences here in Finland in the field of business. A few months after my application I received the decision and fortunately I was accepted to start my studies in August 2020 and they will last until December 2023. Of course, the pandemic didn’t have the “publicity” and the “fatality” it has now one year afterwards. So, my mind could have not imagined the situation we are going through now as students. I am a freshman now in a new school/university and not having the possibility to meet my teachers, visit my school facilities, interact with my fellow students and maybe work colleagues in later life, feel the anxiety of standing in front of people, working together in groups to achieve your goals, learn from one another and having that feeling of being behind a desk sharing your thoughts and ideas with the rest of the class. Most of those I have described are not functional right now and maybe one or two you are getting half the cake.

I had the luck to move in Finland way before the situation excavated so at least I am in the same country and city my university is operating. However, most of my fellow students are not even at the same continent. This university program I am in and a lot of others in Finland, is in English resulting in many people around the world to study in these programs, people from third-world countries or “underdeveloped” ones, wanting to search a better education system abroad. For those people I took the inspiration to share my post today. They participate in every online lecture the school has despite their technical difficulties, job obligations or family commitments. I really admire their will and strength of commitment to the classes with not even a taste of feeling as a student abroad would have. Sometimes people forget about somebody’s status in life and under which circumstances they study. For many this is not a fair game. Schools in Finland of course have provided all the tools for those that are very far away from place of the university and honorably they have done a very good job and we mustn’t forget that they only had one summer to figure out with the government’s instructions how the next semester(s) or school year(s) will carry on so hats-off to them.

Going back to the complications, students, starting in a new university not being able to be here is a killing blow. Imagine getting the job career you have ever dreamed of, abroad to a new country with different culture, way of life, mindset and climate (sounds exciting, right?), and you are supposed to start sometime in the future and a few weeks before you start they call you and tell you – Hi, we decided to turn your department into a remote job. Or even telling you -Hi, turns out we filled the position with somebody else (maybe somebody local). That is how I felt weeks before starting my studies. I knew I was starting in the university months before but the situation along the way prepared me for this remote-studies decision few weeks before. Eventually, now nearly at the end of the fall semester I couldn’t be anymore thankful for the work my school and teachers have put into not losing the whole year instead continue as (the new) normal and working through days and nights and even weekends for the students to not feel alienated within a new experience and study place.

Until next time,

Daniel

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