“You averaged 11 hours, 36 minutes of screen time per day last week”, is the first thing my Ipad tells me on a Monday morning.
It is 9:58 am and I've been trying to find the Zoom link to my 10 a.m class for the last fifteen minutes. My phone buzzes, thirty new Whatsapp messages and a new message from my tutorial group: “Can someone send the zoom link?”, “I can't find it.” Thank God, I am not the only one.
Zoom asks if I want to enable my camera. Certainly not! I am still in my pajamas, my room is a mess and the circles under my eyes make me look like a member of the Adams family. My tutor is already talking. It’s a two-hour long Q&A session about the last tutorials. Every week she asks how we feel; we can decide between five emojis. This week, most of my fellow students, including me, chose to describe their emotional stage with the screaming emoji.
As I'm trying to focus on the lecture my news app is sending me a notification: “New Covid-restrictions for Limburg”, “Germany issues Code Red travel warning for the Netherlands”. My tutor says that we move to the next topic. You really gotta focus now, I tell myself. My phone is buzzing again. I should turn that off. I try to scan through the forty pages about International law for my group preparation, while listening to my lecture about tax law. “Well if you don't have any more questions, then I think that's it for today”.
I leave the meeting and click on the link for a two-hour lecture, I adjust the speed to 1,5 and make it into a 1hour 20 min lecture. I submit our group preparation four minutes before the deadline, it feels good to have something finished.
Now my mom is calling. She tells me her phone says that the weather in Maastricht is great. I peak out of the window, she is right. As soon as I hang up on my mom, my phone is ringing again. Incoming facetime call. I accept. “Wow, you look like shit” is the first thing I hear from my friend.
During the last weeks we talked on facetime for about ten hours each day. The idea was to motivate each other to study, but since all my flat mates moved back to their parents, it's a nice way to have some company. We manage to study for a few hours. At 9 p.m both of us are hungry, so we make dinner ‘together’. “I'm really in the mood for chocolate right now”, she tells me, I hold up a chocolate bar: “I got some”.
Already in bed, I watch some Netflix. As I am almost asleep I see one more notification pop up on my phone. Canvas reminds me: “You have 9 open assignments”.
Line-Marie Eichhorst, European Law student