Socializing in these Testing Times

It is the start of another freshman year and all of you might be looking for the exciting events and activities ahead of you right?! But unfortunately, you are going to attend all or most of your activities virtually this year.

Socializing or attending your regular lectures virtually might be exhausting. Especially, when you are sitting inside four walls the whole day in a green town like Wageningen!

With the core element (student activities/events) for socializing being cut off, will you get any chance to find friends from different nationalities, socialize with them and enjoy your international study environment in Wageningen? Of course, Yes!

Till the COVID-19 came, there were these initiator groups/associations which acts as a platform for your gatherings and social life by organising consecutive events. So, all you had to do was subscribe to the events organised by them and that is it! you got your ticket to the multicultural social environment.

Be the Initiator:

Now, you have to be the initiator. You have to take steps to gather people and it is You who must “create” the multicultural environment.All this abiding, by the rules and restrictions imposed by the Dutch Government.

One of the most efficient ways, which I would suggest is, to come to the University. The University has places with the safety measures taken into account. If you could communicate and organise with your peers, you all can come to University sit separately, prepare, and attend your lectures. In between, you could take short breaks and have a quick chit chat and have your lunch, other snack meals together.

By this way, you could create a close to classroom environment by these simple efforts, instead of staring at your screen the whole day. I do accept that online lectures have their own set of advantages and comforts.

But it is always better to keep changing your environment occasionally to refresh and keep yourself energised and motivated.

As the public places are imposed with quite a number of restrictions and the safety in those places is also a concern, the University on the other hand does provide the necessary basic safety protocols. So, it is better to come to the University by adhering to their safety protocols and as a responsible individual taking all the necessary precautions also for yourself.

 

 

Beyond the University:

Some of the other leisure activities which you can consider are, going to the Saturday markets, visiting the river rhine on a sunny day, going for a walk with not more than 3 people or the most relaxing activity of cycling in the woods.

Further, all the shared accommodation students must take this as an opportunity to get to know your fellow corridor mates better! I am sure that all of you have corridor mates from different cultures. Make use of this opportunity. Keep initiating plans on alternative weekends or on a regular periodical basis. Not all would be willing to join initially but once you start, slowly those who are not keen to join would also be interested eventually. The same applies to the self-contained rooms too. The usual self-contained accommodations are not very much prone to socializing, take this as an opportunity to break this!

 

Just remember, there are always ample ways to socialize and catch new friends in this small town. All you must do is let go of your inhibitions.

You would then be surprised to find how friendly and how welcoming all the people are. So, start your circle with your corridor fellows or your peers from your courses right away!

Getting into the flow: 

You can also contact the student psychologists if you feel you have to get some dose of motivation and more clarity in thinking and guidance on the way you approach your life in this “new normal” situation. Follow the link to get to that webpage. (Do keep in mind that, the student psychologists are usually busy, and you might have to wait for about two to three weeks to get an appointment.)

https://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Student-Guidance/Student-Psychologist.htm

Once you get into the flow of enjoying with your new-found friends do not forget to maintain the social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols imposed by the government for the individuals as well as the places where you visit. Always remember to keep your activities under the safety blanket!

Follow the link below to get the latest updates regarding COVID-19 from the Dutch Government.

https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/current-information

https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19

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Rabindra Ganapati V

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