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With university closed, Julie is scared of her own decline

Report from home-uni — »I find it hard not to backslide into old habits from the time I had a depression. Things can quickly go downhill for me. I am a big extrovert, and the more I am alone, the worse I get.«

Julie Holstein is a student of visual culture at the Department of Art and Culture at the University of Copenhagen, and right now she is concerned about how long she should be away from real life classes and her friends. This is her report:

I‘m pretty worried. I have never been good at reading, and I usually use the teaching in class as my ‘reading’. I’m good at listening, writing notes, and being present. But I don’t learn from reading. I can read a page and have no idea what I have just read, so I’ve had to come up with creative ways to get through uni.

To be honest, I’m not really reading at all at the moment. In my one subject we had group work planned during this period, so we should not have any teaching there anyway. And my instructor says that we will be online for the next scheduled class. In my other subject we have had an online class for just over an hour and it usually lasts three hours.

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It’s difficult to do group work right now. We’ve tried to talk together in a group call via Facebook, but there was not much group work about it. It was more about distributing the workload, and then you just have to trust the others to be doing something right.

I know the instructors are putting up some online teaching, but I’m concerned about the quality of it. If there are any more cuts to teaching, I am not sure I can complete my courses.

It is also difficult for the instructors, but there is not very much clear information. I know they’re doing their best, and they’re working flat out to get it all to make sense. I’m just really worried.

We have many assignments during the semester, and because everything is so chaotic right now, it is difficult to keep up with the pace and constantly do the assignments. It is also difficult for the instructors, but there is not very much clear information. I know they’re doing their best, and they’re working flat out to get it all to make sense. I’m just really worried.

Online teaching is, of course, better than nothing, but our teaching is built up in a way that we have to answer questions and talk to our buddies sitting next to us in class. This means that it is harder to convert it all to online teaching. For me, it is clearly an advantage to be present instead of listening to an echo on a screen, and we do not yet know whether there will get any permanent online teaching.

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My main concern is falling behind in this period, because it’s really hard to concentrate, keep up discipline and do the assignments at home.

I find it hard not to backslide into old habits from the time I had a depression. Things can quickly go downhill for me. I’m a big extrovert, and the more I’m alone, the worse I get. Normally, my coping strategy when I feel like this is to meet up with people I know and force myself to go out. But that’s not really an option now.

Translated by Mike Young

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