Zoom classes, lack of activity, little or no social connections… Students suffer significantly from this Irish confinement, sometimes causing a malaise. Their rooms have become their places of work, rest, reading or sports, which can cause isolation. Indeed, the lack of social interaction is soon felt by those who come to study in Ireland as part of their Erasmus programme.
‘I don’t think we ever thought we’d have an Erasmus like this. It’s hard to get used to the idea that maybe by the end of the year we won’t have seen any of our classmates in real life”. Alfred Terninck and Yves Touitou, flatmates, are two students at Griffith College in Dublin. For them, this new confinement in Ireland has globally impacted their studies abroad and especially their ways of working.
Yves, who seems very annoyed by the situation, adds: “I find myself spending days in my room having classes all day. Then, when it’s over, night had already fallen, I have a home sports session, a meal and bedtime. The only opportunity to go out today is on the weekend to go for a walk in a park since that is all that is left as an activity. However, this is only possible on sunny days, which is not common here in Dublin, apart from that, we have nothing to do”. Indeed, here in Ireland, restaurants, museums, cinemas, non-essential stores and fitness centre have all closed because of Covid-19.
Students are deprived of all outdoor activities, which can lead to a lack of human contact. Alfred, who is usually a very outgoing person, open to others and meetings explains it to us: “I have always needed to meet people in my student life, what I mean is that this is my way of looking at studies. For me, it’s not just about work; it’s mostly supposed to be the best years of my life, normally accompanied by the best encounters, the best friendships. Today I find myself facing my screen all week trying to see faces if some have wanted to activate their cameras. It’s hard to approach someone through a screen in a zoom meeting where everyone sees you, listens to you. I’m far from being a shy person usually, but I can’t get to other people that way”.
To end the conversation, Yves says he feels like a part of what he calls: “the sacrificed generation to defeat Covid-19. It’s a term that scares me a lot because it seems to make our prospects in our respective fields unclear. I have the impression that we are put aside during this crisis, no one is worried about what could have been caused by these containment measures to us, the students. Many suffer from isolation, depression and sometimes even precariousness. In France, a student jumped out the window in his university residence two weeks ago, for what reason? We have to ask ourselves the question”.
To learn more about these students’ lives who are seeing the Coronavirus crisis disrupt their studies, you can watch the report below.
If you are one of those students who suffer from isolation, depression or other conditions during this confinement, do not hesitate to come and talk about it on Twitter through the hashtag #griffithcollegestudent.