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Published: 08 Apr, 2020

"Ask others how things are going and take walks outside"

PROFILE Jakob Ljungkvist is enrolled in the media and communication studies programme at Umeå University, and is studying remotely since the campus closed for students. His best tips for other students are to keep in touch with your classmates, try to meet up if possible and walk if you are going somewhere.

How is studying remotely going?

“Unexpectedly well as a matter of fact. Of course, it is a bit odd to be a distance student in your own student city, but it’s working out better than I thought it would. Now I have a slight advantage, because I’m writing my bachelor’s thesis together with a writing partner, so I don’t have a lot of lectures and seminars right now.”

“From the beginning I was a little worried about how the web-based seminars and supervisor meetings would work, but thanks to Zoom it has been very problem-free and smooth.”

What does your typical day look like?

“I sit and write, do research and work, and then I have Zoom meetings with my supervisors. And I try to stick to regular routines: I eat breakfast, study, eat lunch, study."

What does your social life look like?

“Thanks to these awkward times so I am feeling kind of forever alone, as many others probably do. So, I sit a lot by myself as social life pauses, restaurants close and activities disappear.”

“But there’s social media, for good and for bad. I think the last thing to abandon is the hope for humanity, or was it the other way around?”

Is there anything that worries you?

“Not from a student welfare perspective, because I am writing my thesis and that I can in some way meet and interact with a writing partner every day. Then we’ll see how the schedule will be at the end of the term, but I think the programme coordinators will solve it in a good way.”

What do you miss most about being on campus?

“It’s unavoidable not to miss the student-social life. To be in a lecture hall and to be at a seminar, and then meet up with fellow students, have lunch, talk about theses and meet other fun people. The student welfare aspect is an important part of being a student today.”

Do you have any good tips for others?

“Try to keep in touch with your fellow students on a daily basis, and friends and family of course, and ask how things are going. It’s also good if you can also meet your fellow students - either through Zoom, at a deserted cafe or in the home. And take a walk wherever you go - even if it's on the other side of town - and get some light.”

“And do not feel alone if, for example, you do not pass an assignment. Some people may take it really hard, especially during those times when you are at home yourself and isolated. But remember that you are not alone in this and share your thoughts with others, so you can find support and a feeling of togetherness.”

What’s the first thing you will do when campus opens again?

“It will be in the autumn for me, and it will be a happy reunion with all the classmates in my courses. Then of course I'll buy a coffee to-go, as usual.”

Name: Jakob Ljungkvist
Studies:  Bachelor's Programme in Media and Communication Studies