«Love you! See you in a week – hopefully» is how many phone calls end lately. Many are looking forward to seeing their friends and families again during the holidays. For months we believed that we would be able to, but a new wave of Covid is here to drown our plans.
The uncertainty that this pandemic has brought upon our lives is hard to deal with, especially for students. Online classes, lockdowns, moving back home, remote internships, and cancelled semesters abroad. Will I see my boyfriend this month? Is my grandma going to be okay? Is this sore throat Covid or just a cold?
For international students, the uncertainty is multiplied. Many have seen their years abroad cut short, and others have been trapped at home. Will I be able to go home for Christmas? Will I be able to enter Norway again when I come back? Nobody has the answers.
It sucks. I know. Many of us have had our lives turned upside down more than once during this pandemic and this has caused plenty of disappointments, frustrations and anxiety. But it has also brought resilience. «Nothing is certain» sounds like a bad quote on a depressing bathroom tile. Nonetheless, I believe that this unprecedented uncertainty is also a blessing.
Uncertainty is not always a bad thing. Having to cancel plans that you were looking forward to is never fun, and «when one door closes another one opens» is a bit of a lie when Covid measures are aimed at keeping doors firmly shut. But windows might open for you, and not only for room ventilation.
We’re students during one of the strangest periods in modern history, and I’d say that many weirder years are about to come. Covid remains, and many other challenges such as climate change, geopolitical tensions, and economic crises will complicate our future lives further. Our generation faces much more uncertainty than just Covid.
Nevertheless, we’re already dealing with uncertainty. Whether you keep booking flights even though your last four attempts were cancelled simply because you need something to look forward to, or whether you’ve stopped planning ahead altogether to avoid disappointment. Well done. You’re dealing with it.
So maybe you won’t be able to fly home this Christmas. You’ll celebrate Christmas with friends in Bergen instead – a city that looks like a Christmas card at the moment. Consider it your newly opened window. It’s not ideal, but you’ll make the most of it.