Giant toilet paper rolls inside a shopping cart

Extracurriculars in pandemic times

In the first few months of 2020, most of my extracurriculars came to a grinding halt as people tried to adjust to the guidelines and restrictions associated with the pandemic.

It was definitely a transition into a period of having to reimagine hobbies and extracurriculars for me. So I thought I’d walk you through how things have evolved, and what elements remain! I hope this gives you some ideas for Covid-compatible extracurriculars.

First though, I have a disclaimer: I speak from personal experience, so the things in this blog may not hold true for all the activities at KI or for everyone! I have been fortunate enough so as to have the time and mental space for extracurriculars, which definitely hasn’t been the case for many of us. So I’d encourage you to, above all else, be kind and understanding to yourself and others. Circumstances have been strange!

Now, to get into it…

Before and After: what have I been doing?

To get us started, here’s a short summary of what I was up to before and after the pandemic guidelines came into play!

Before After
interning at a lab, bloggingDipping my toes in some R and Python, learning Swedish, Blogging, organizing an event (TEDxKI), heading the student union magazine Medicor, blogging

Academics-oriented extracurriculars

Being on campus was cut down drastically, so some of my extracurriculars were definitely incompatible! For example, anything that involved being in the lab was cancelled (especially since I wasn’t working with anything Covid related). This was a huge downer for me because I had just started getting a feel for things in the lab and I was learning a lot, but health and safety come first so having to take a step back was okay.

A person holding a book with the title Python and the cover image of a python snake on it
Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Now that I had so many hours freed up by not doing lab-work, I decided to use the summer to try out a more computation focused side of biomedicine, namely by learning some R and Python. If you’re interested then definitely check out this blog by Inés. I needed nothing except my computer, and it was really fun!

Language extracurriculars

Ah, learning Swedish. I’ve been in Sweden a while now (a lot longer than I initially thought I would, to be honest) and most of my Swedish has come from passively picking it up from around me.

A keyboard in black and white with Å, Ö and Ä letters.
Finally making use of the ö, ä and å letters. Photo by Inika Prasad

Not commuting and cutting down on social things definitely freed up even more time, so I decided to formally learn some Swedish over the last summer. It was really nice to put the language in perspective and actually connect my disjointed knowledge into a more cohesive picture. Would recommend!

If you know a little Swedish already you can take a nivåtest (level test) that’ll allow you to skip to the SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) level that suits you best.

Planning & writing extracurriculars

The top right corner of a little notebook, flipped open to a page that says "yearly planner"
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

When I saw the chance to organize a TEDx event at KI, my friend Lukas Lehtonen and I began the marathon of organizing TEDxKI. It’s quite a Covid-friendly process, as one can contact the relevant people digitally and the event itself can be adapted to different degrees of being online. Online events are growing more common and more creative, so I’d encourage you to try making something happen! We need to connect with each other more than ever.

Two hands on a typewriter in a dimly lit and rustic setting
Photo by Min An from Pexels

The other Covid-friendly extracurricular I picked up was being part of the student union magazine Medicor. I’d worked with Medicor briefly before and I really enjoy writing, so I thought it would be really fun! Basically, being part of a publication is a great way to interact with new people and it doesn’t have to be in person! You can take the chance to build or flex your editorial, writing, or design skills.

The letters B, L, O and G on small tiles
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

And last but not least: blogging has been my most constant extracurricular since I started at KI. It’s a great way to meet people (digitally nowadays) from different study programmes and connect with your peers. It’s been nice to have a platform where I can reflect on my university life both before and during this pandemic. So start a blog! It’s SO Covid-friendly oh my goodness.

Finally

This blog has been a little more text-heavy than most I’ve written, but I hope that my personal experience can help some of you come up with guideline-compatible extracurriculars! How did the pandemic affect your plans and ideas? Let me know in the comments or, as always, find me at inika.prasad@stud.ki.se.

<3 Inika

Featured image by 🎄Merry Christmas 🎄 from Pixabay

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Hello, Inika here. I’m a third-year Biomedicine bachelor’s student at KI. I'm from India and a little bit from Sweden. As a Digital Ambassador Blogger, I'll be writing about my programme, things happening in and around KI, and giving insights into university life.

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