It is already feared that they are a lost generation: the students who start their studies during the corona pandemic. This week we talk to ten of those freshmen about their first year of study. Today: Nono Kranendonk (21), who is going to study History.
At what point during the corona crisis did you start thinking about how the situation could affect your student life?
‘Probably during the preparations for my state exams. I completed an accountancy course and in order to study History at the UvA, I have to obtain a few certificates. I soon noticed the impact of the pandemic. Instead of written tests, I had to take almost all exams orally. Until the start of the holiday I was busy with state exams and only after I finished them I could think about my UvA experience.’
How are you going to get to know fellow students without the introduction week?
‘I registered for the online introduction week. Hopefully, I will make some friends. The schedule includes quizzes and music and I also hope that my entry group will make a Whatsapp group so we can easily meet. I also decided to join Kleio, the study association. Maybe they organize activities on location.’
Are you planning to find student accommodation?
‘No, I will live with my parents in a nice neighborhood close to the Westerpark. I have a physical disability, HMSN, which results in limited muscle strength in my hands and legs. It takes a lot to find a suitable home for me, so it is more convenient to stay with my parents.’
What are you going to miss most because of the pandemic?
‘Human contact. Having a chat and a drink after lectures. And I think it is difficult to concentrate during a lecture on Zoom. A real lecture hall will be a different experience.’
Do you think your generation will be known as ‘corona students’?
‘It depends on how long this situation continues. We might be known as that generation in ten or fifteen years, because the Dutch academic structure has been transformed by the pandemic. But I don’t think it will make us less respectable.’