How many times have you recently found yourself biting your nails wondering about the unpredictability of the future?
The pandemic created by the coronavirus has changed our lives as students in many ways. One of the main ways is the major uncertainty about the future. We don’t know how bad the situation of the virus will be in our countries either next week, nor in a month, and much less in the summer.
In old times, people who planned their trips 4 months before we’re seen as responsible and cautious, among other traits related to the ability one has of organising himself. In March 2021, if you tell someone you are planning to travel internationally to Peru in September, the most likely thing to happen is that that person will give you a weird look and, if she doesn’t, it’s food for thought and the fact that your idea is regarded as normal.
Nowadays, it has even become hard to plan a trip within the same country you’re living, unless you live in a country that is particularly “Covid-free” and masks are no longer a thing. So futuristic, right? But no, it’s just Australia, the only place in the world where people don’t need to use masks anymore.
On the other hand, here in Spain, if you live in Madrid and want to spend the weekend in Barcelona it’s not possible unless you have a “justified motive” to do so. Moreover, you have to check every two weeks if the long list of restrictions to enter an autonomous community have changed. As a consequence, the process of preparation for a national trip with all the existent restrictions has become almost as hard, or sometimes equally hard, as planning an international trip.
Spring Break is in three weeks. Some people I’ve spoken to have told me that they are going back home to see their family. However, the vast majority of the people I’ve talked to are staying in Madrid as the restrictions to leave and come back to the autonomous community of Madrid and in Spain in general are strict.
It’s impossible not to feel a little anxious when you can’t plan anything about your future. This feeling is especially present when it has been a year since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Europe and people are starting to feel an urge to travel.
It is indeed a bit materialistic and self-centred to place our thoughts about our needs to travel before the ones about the health and economic catastrophe of our countries. Nevertheless, I imagine that most people haven’t denied their human will and have thought at least once about escaping to the Maldives.
As a second year, this is the first time in which we can start applying for summer internships. I feel like I am missing out on a high number of opportunities due to having a lower number of possibilities as a consequence of Covid. In addition, our educational system has changed to a hybrid system by which the professors are giving us more and more work. They might regard it as a way of compensating for the lower amount of face-to-face classes we have since the beginning of the pandemic but is increasingly adding to our stress.
As we can see, there are many things that have triggered stress and anxiety in students and will continue doing so during these weird times we are living. For students, this might seem like a fiasco. But we have to remind ourselves every day that this is for the greater good of the society of the world, and that these things that we are now missing on, such as our dream internship or a long-wished trip, have a very little dimension of importance compared to what’s currently going on in the world. It’s a time in which we have to be extra altruist and ready to place our country’s needs above ours.