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Our flat is too small for two people to live in 24/7

Our flat is too small for two people to live in 24/7

Photographer:Fotograaf:

Archief Maren Slangen

Master’s student of Policy & Human Development Maren Slangen took her final written exam without even knowing it. “I was supposed to take two more, but the programme directors decided to assign us an online oral exam and a take-home assignment instead because of the corona crisis. I prefer written exams – they give you more time to think – but I understand why they had to come up with something else. I feel like they’re working very hard to find the best solution for everyone.”

The coronavirus has freed up about 28 to 32 hours per week for Slangen. In addition to being a student, she’s also a member of the municipal council in Maastricht. “Almost all activity has ceased. We’re holding party group meetings online, but it’s hard to have council sessions or debates on serious topics online. I’m not sure very practical to hold a debate with 39 people on Microsoft Teams. This also means I have a lot less preparatory reading to do. Most appointments with organisations and citizens have been cancelled as well.”

One of the things she has been doing with her newfound spare time is helping her father in Berg en Dal, close to Nijmegen, put old photos into albums. “Those pictures had been lying around for years. It’s a fun thing to do together. These kinds of things are the silver linings in times of crisis.”

Rather than living in her flat in Maastricht, she’s currently staying with either her father in Nijmegen or her in-laws in Ulvenhout, a small village near Breda. “I prefer to be with my family at a time like this.” Another advantage is that there’s more space there. She laughs. “My boyfriend is great, but I think we’d lose our minds if we had to stay in our tiny flat together 24/7.”

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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