Erasmus in Corona time

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Maybe you had different expectations when you arrived here in Poland for Erasmus, so did I. I was expecting to go to school for at least one class and should be more able to join real-life activities organised by the ESN department. Reality is different: there are more restrictions in Poland and almost everything is closed. How will we survive? Well, I will tell you what you still can do in these hard times.

Think positive

A lot of people think about the things they cannot do anymore. That will make them depressive and grumpy. It is a shame because I told you that almost everything is closed,
yes this means not everything. We can still go to the supermarket and the parks. It might seem not that much to you, but sometimes you can have the weirdest experiences just in the supermarket right around the corner.

Parks

Go to the park!

The parks here are still open, and that is a good thing. Go outside and take a walk as long as you want or need. Maybe you think walking is boring, but I really like it. I have a nice park in my neighbourhood where I can spend the whole day if it is possible. When you are there, take your time to look around, maybe you will see some nice animals. In my park, live a lot of squirrels, so when I am there, I always look for them. They are not hard to find, maybe you already found them in the park close to your home. Now it is getting colder and maybe they will start their winter sleep which will make it harder to find them, but maybe you are lucky, and you spot one. Next to squirrels, there will be more animals in the parks. Make your own safari close to home and see what you can spot. I hope to see an owl because they are my favourite animals and hard to spot.
Maybe you already saw this yellow gym devises in the parks. The gyms are closed, so why not use these? The big advantage is that they are free to use. If you are afraid of getting Corona from these things, just take some disinfectant with you and clean them for your own use and wash your hands when you are back home.
Parks are also the perfect and corona safe spot to meet people. Send a message to some friends, be aware of the restrictions in the number of people, and hang out in the park for a few hours.

Stay in touch

During my introduction period, I met some nice people. Now it is a little harder to meet, I try to keep touch on Whatsapp. Just sending some messages saying: how are you? And how is school going? I also try to meet them, I walked through a park with a few girls and we were catching up about our lives, complaining about the corona and discussing what we should do with Christmas.

I think it is also important to stay in touch with people from home. Of course, your family. I call with my parents and sister a lot; they know how I am doing in Poland and I know how they are doing in the Netherlands. I also sent them some old-fashion postcards. That is always nice to do. I also enjoy receiving them. Keeping in touch with friends from home is also important to me. I have one group of friends with who I am really close. It’s nice to keep up with how they are and what keeps them busy. On the other hand, they also ask about me, especially now with corona and demonstrations. I think they are kind of worried that something will happen. We also do a lot of video calls and they take a long time because we have to tell each other a lot.

Treat yourself

Little pleasures are important!

Now there is not much to do, you can go to the supermarket or a drugstore to buy some nice products like soap, body lotion and masks, and make your home spa. Take a long bath (sorry environment) and enjoy the nice scents of your soaps and later treat yourself with nice music and your lotions and masks. For me, food is also a good treat. It is not the snacks I am talking about but cooking nice dishes. If you have some spare time, make your own pizza instead of buying one at a supermarket. You will enjoy and it will be much tastier too. You will also value this more, because of all the work you have done to make it. The only part I do not like, are the dishes, but these dishes are worth the preparing and enjoying my food.

Remember that there, despite the Covid restrictions, are a lot of things that you can do. You only have to think a little more positive and look for options. I bet that you might think of things to do which I did not think of.