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!
|interning at a lab, blogging||Dipping my toes in some R and Python, learning Swedish, Blogging, organizing an event (TEDxKI), heading the student union magazine Medicor, blogging|
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.