"Sometimes it’s nice to not follow the news"

We have probably all worked from home once at some point, voluntarily or out of necessity. But how do you divide your day and sort your work or study load now that we collectively depend on our home for a longer period of time? How do you stay focused, how do you keep your team together, what are the tips, tricks and pitfalls? Cursor calls a ‘fellow sufferer’ every day. Today: sophomore architecture student Noor Jansen.

photo Privécollectie Noor Jansen

And then suddenly you are no longer in Eindhoven every day, but in Wehl in the province of Gelderland, in your grandfather's house. The photos and videos that student Noor Jansen shares with us via Instagram are quite idyllic. With the exception of that one video, perhaps, on which one of the total of ten newborn lambs from the past few days is born - with the help of Jansen and especially her grandfather, who is a veterinarian. "Triplets had been born the night before, of which one sheep had to be turned over a bit." Laughing: "After that my grandfather lost his ring."

The architecture student has been staying in Wehl since Friday, together with the rest of her family (her younger brother studies in Nijmegen). “My parents are moving, but the new house still needs to be renovated. That's why we’re staying here for so long. Grandpa has the space, so that's nice. But it also takes some time for him getting used to having so many people around him again.”

Reviewing old lectures

Jansen has her own room in the house where she can retire and where she bravely tries to study for a few hours a day. Because, according to the message from the department, this (education-free) week is no reason to fall behind. “I’m not involved in any projects at the moment, which helps. I mainly watch lectures from previous years. Some courses at our department have been taught for a long time, so I can review those. That works quite well.”

But, she also says: “I do find it difficult to keep myself motivated and to work, with all the distractions around me. That is why I always try to set small goals: watching a lecture for 45 minutes and then taking a break, for example. I then run some rounds around the table and continue. My father also works from home now, so sometimes I sit next to him.”

Jansen is especially curious whether next month's exams will continue and if so, in what way. “It could of course be that the working-from-home policy gets extended after April 6; I wonder how they want to arrange things then. The courses that I take at the moment are resit courses; I have to pass those. If I cannot take the exams, the question is whether I will experience a study delay or whether the academic year will last a few weeks longer.”

Social life

In anticipation of more clarity about this, she really tries to keep some rhythm and structure in her days. “I wake up on time, walk the dog, feed the lambs and then study. Or I go shopping with my parents for a bit of a social life. But it is a bit boring.” She occasionally tries to ignore the non-stop corona coverage on the radio ("it's always on here"). “Sometimes it’s nice to not follow it. In that respect, we are also a bit further away from the world, at least that’s what it feels like.”

She does often text with friends and with other board members of student theater association Doppio. "We actually were supposed to have our board outing coming Sunday." Laughing: "Maybe we should go gaming or skyping now, I don't know yet." The board last met on campus last Friday. A bit of a crisis meeting it was, Jansen says: “Our productions always start in the fourth quartile. From April 24, we have a production in the agenda every weekend. We still need to decide what we will do with those.”

In any case, the usual rehearsals have been canceled for the time being, “maybe we can start online classes or something like that. The entire association life is currently at a standstill, then it’s nice if you can do some things online instead.”

Below a video of Noor during the birth of one of the lambs. Note: this footage may not be suitable for everyone.

Video | Noor Jansen

Studying at grandpa's place

Video | Noor Jansen

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