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It's quiet in Lars van Laar's student house

It's quiet in Lars van Laar's student house

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Archive Lars van Laar

It’s quiet in the student house where Lars van Laar, second-year student of Psychology, lives. “Twelve people usually live here, now there are only four. We buy groceries for each other to reduce unnecessary trips to the supermarket. If the weather is nice, we often spend the afternoon sitting in the garden or watching a film together. And we can go back to our rooms if we get tired of each other.”

Van Laar spent “a lot of time on the phone” in the past two weeks. He is the chair of the “student boardsports association of Maastricht”, Stoked (surfing, snowboarding etc.). “We had loads of events planned for April, May and June.” One of them was a beer event with eighty participants. “It didn’t have to be cancelled at first, as there would be fewer than a hundred people present. But then all gatherings were banned.”

A lot of time went into cancelling a surf camp in Fuerteventura. They were supposed to leave on 18 April. “We had to contact the camp, cancel all the flights and cancel our transport from the airport to the camp. We also had to keep our members informed and make sure they got their money back.”

“The members are disappointed”, says Van Laar. “But everyone understands.” The organisers themselves are disappointed, too. “We worked so hard to put together something fun for our members. We understand why it had to be cancelled, but all our work was for nothing. Next year, everything will have to be arranged all over again.”

By now, he has made most of the phone calls he needed to make. “It’s pretty quiet now.” And that’s a good thing, because he will need his time to study. The exams he was supposed to take this period have been postponed. This means he’ll have to take four, rather than two, exams in June. “I’m not too worried about that. I’m more worried about my exchange. In September, I was supposed to leave for Cyprus for six months. I’m not sure that’ll happen.”

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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