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To the classrooms again

At the beginning of this semester I was overjoyed when I made my schedule and found out that I was finally going back to class for even a couple of courses. And that I could finally socialize with my classmates, with whom I have only interacted through a screen since the summer semester of 2020. Due to the pandemic, my first semester was online like the next two until this one. That´s why, it fills me with excitement and joy to finally get to know the uni as a "richtige Studentin."

Autumn road at the university, rainy weather, leaves are on the ground.
Back entrance to the university in autumn© DAAD/ Angela

On Monday, October 18, the winter semester of 2021 started at my university.

I have been in college for almost a year; however, the beginning of this semester felt like something special.  Because at my university and in Bayern, students can return to the classrooms. Until this semester, I had only been to the university to take some exams or to the library to borrow books, but I wasn’t allowed to sit and listen to a live Vorlesung or Seminar. 

Bus station called "Universität"

The first week, especially the first day. I felt like I was five years old again.

Like when I first went to school. I felt lost. These when it came to finding the classroom where my lecture was. Although there are maps around the university, I think it’s always very confusing to find yourself in a place you’re not in very often. Especially considering how many people are around you trying to figure out where their classroom is, just like you. That reminded me that it’s not just me who feels like an „ersti“ (as the Germans call first semester students), despite being in a high semester. So, I decided to ask someone for help and made it to my first class on time.

The rest of the classrooms where my other courses were, I was able to look for them a bit more calmly over the week. So,  I recommend that if your university is open on weekends, take an hour to get to know it when it’s not so crowded so you can orient yourself better.

University building in the background
University building in the background © DAAD/ Angela

That first class I had, I realized how much I missed being in a classroom. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the advantages of online lessons. Like not having to get up super early to get to the lectures on time. But I feel that being in the regular classroom, allows me to concentrate much better. And of course, I’m glad that I don’t have to check the internet connection constantly or if the microphone is on or if the camera is off.

A shadow on the sidewalk
Me, waiting for the bus© DAAD/ Angela

I had never enjoyed the first day of school so much until this year because it made me realize that everything can change so suddenly that we don’t even realize how much we used to enjoy simple things.

The fact that we can go back to the classrooms doesn’t mean we don’t still have to take care of ourselves. The pandemic management at my university is all about following the 3G rule to get into the classroom. If there is no space to keep distance between seats, we must wear the mask all the time. And the classrooms are kept constantly ventilated.

Although returning to presence classes may not be the same, it used to be before the pandemic. I think we have to enjoy the little bit of life on campus we get. Hopefully the situation with the virus will soon get better so that I can finally see the faces of my classmates without the masks.

I hope you all can also slowly return to your classrooms like me. And I wish you a good winter semester!!!!.  

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