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Online exams and sleepless nights

Online exams and sleepless nights

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Archive Hadia Arab

Until two weeks ago, second-year student of International Business Hadia Arab lived in an apartment in Maastricht. "I subrented that place and could arrange something with the main tenants." Now, she is living with her parents in Heerlen again. “The university is closed for the time being. I don’t have to be in Maastricht in the near future. Paying rent would be a waste of money. I can’t complain; my parents take good care of me. It’s stressful too, though. They’re both over sixty years old. For two weeks now, I’ve been telling them that I will do the grocery shopping, but they won’t listen to me. Fortunately, they haven’t left the house for four days now.”

Arab says she also feels stressed about how the corona crisis may affect her studies. She hasn’t been sleeping well. University life has ground to a halt. “It felt like the floor dropped out from under me.” The hardest part is the uncertainty. Last Friday, she attended her first online tutorial session. It went quite well. “Video chatting made it feel like we were actually in the classroom.” This took away some of the uncertainty, “but I’m mostly worried about the upcoming exam periods. I have seven exams in June and July. What will they look like? Will I be able to achieve the same results as before?”

Fortunately, there are also positive sides to the situation. “I just started reading a book about art history. It’s always been an interest of mine, but I never had time to look into it. The book is called The History of Art by E.H. Gombrich. It gives a clear overview of art history. It’s the perfect starting point for learning more about it.”

Another positive is that Arab has met many new people online. Students from all over the country are gathering on Discord, “a communication programme like Skype”, to talk about the impact of the corona crisis on their lives. “But we also talk about books, or computer games. It’s nice to talk to people who are in the same boat.”

What are these corona-days like for students? How does it affect their studies and other parts of their life? Observant speaks to one of them every day to give an idea about the virus' impact.

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