About the Author
Lara van der Maas is a first-year IBCoM student, who lives in Rotterdam, in the area of Delfshaven. She joined Embrace to meet new people, and write about things she likes. Her main passions are fashion and everything cooking/baking-related, and she really enjoys a good book, going sailing, or doing other fun stuff with friends.
What you expect vs what you get
I can imagine that, before Covid-19, a lot of people had a lot of expectations about their upcoming college-year and summer, etc. As a first-year IBCoM-student, I can agree on this. My expectations towards starting a new study and the summer of 2020 were very different compared to my expectations now, for summer 2021. I expected that my first year would be more interactive, that I would be able to meet and connect much easier with other first-year students, that I would be able to meet my friends from high school more easily and that, I guess, I could do much more besides studying like sports, but also grab a drink or go out for dinner. But then Covid-19 came and I, like a lot of other first years, had to tone down my expectations a bit and wait patiently for what is coming and what we would be allowed to do. After my graduation from high-school I had planned a fun summer with, for example, going on vacation with friends, family, working, going to festivals, concerts, and so on. Most of these plans I had to cancel and some events, like the festivals, were moved to 2021. Sadly, I already know that there is not much hope on whether or not the festivals will take place.
I do not want to be overly cynical of everything but personally, I think it is best to have low expectations these days of what we will be able to do in summer and during the rest of the year. This way you become more grateful for everything you can do. Since I had to alter my expectations for my first year at university, it has been a lot easier to deal with Covid-19 and the circumstances around it. Of course, I hoped that I could go physically to campus, like a lot of you guys would love to as well I imagine… Yet I am very grateful that I have been able to do so in the first two terms. Besides, online education, may not be the best, but it has its perks like watching lectures at your own preferred time, which I actually like a lot. On the downside we have proctoring, which I am not going to waste too many words on; it sucks, and I do not really enjoy it (which I guess many of you will agree on). At this moment we cannot change anything about this situation, sadly, so we will just have to go on.
Besides all the expectations of college-year 2020/2021 that went down the drain, I still have been able to see a lot of friends (with the Covid-19 measures in mind of course). Online tutorials allow you to do those tutorials from another place than campus or home. Study associations like ACE or student associations still allow you to do meetings and attend seminars, online drinks, etc., but from your own home instead of with all the members together. The associations all had to adapt to the circumstances, but still manage to make the best out of it via an online platform and they are doing a great job!
My plans for this summer are still in construction. I do not know what is possible, what is sensible to do. But I guess the best thing to do for now is wait patiently, have a bit of hope, and expect not too much because all that can happen is that I will get disappointed. Nevertheless, if it is possible, I would love to go on vacation, work, meet up with friends and overall catch up with last year’s plans. Overall, we are still in this together and I am sure that next year we are going to catch up with everything that we could not do this year and make it the best year possible!