Generation Pandemic: How Covid-19 changes the life of students Generation Pandemic: How Covid-19 changes the life of students

Generation Pandemic: How Covid-19 changes the life of students

Studying in your bedroom? Students around the world are faced with this situation due to the pandemic. Two international students in Barcelona talk about their experiences staying home.
ZPortada Izquierda 14 November, 2020 user6 0
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One day in March many college students in Barcelona and all over the world did the same – hug their friends and say “Goodbye, see you soon!”. They did not know that soon they would form part of the so called “Generation Pandemic”. Now, eight months later, most of them still sit in their childhood bedrooms, looking at the screen of their computer, following online classes and thinking about the day when their world was still normal.

In March nobody knew where this pandemic would lead us. We did not know how long we would have to stay home, when we would see our friends again and when we would return to the life we now call “normal”.

Lots of milestone-losses for students of Generation Pandemic

Life for college students changed completely. They used to spend their time in classes on campus with their friends. They used to rush back from the library to their college dorm room to dress up for the party at night. Now almost every student around the world sits in their bedroom in their parent’s house, eating chocolate or cookies while listening to their teachers explaining something online. They don’t go to the library anymore, let alone parties. Maybe they call their friends via Zoom and drink a glass of wine, but the life they knew is gone. They changed from being part of “Generation Y” to being part of the “Generation Pandemic”.



There are a lot of milestones college students in 2020 miss because of the pandemic. The ones who just started college: They don’t get to know their fellow students, all they see is a small picture in a Zoom meeting. Welcome Week, games, parties, social interaction, and the whole experience of getting to know each other. Most of them maybe did not even move into their college dorm and just stayed with their parents as the situation worsened. And the ones who finish college: Missing out on graduation celebrations, parties and now having struggle finding work during the crisis.

Students are returning home due to online lectures

In some countries – such as Spain – universities were open for several weeks in September and October. But with the increasing number of new infections, the government closed them again. Especially for international students this decision had a huge impact. One of them is the 24-year-old Andrea S. from Italy, studying Economics at UPF. He came to Barcelona in September to do his master’s degree. Since lectures are held online, he stays home all day, sitting at a table in the living room, trying to concentrate. “There are days when I don’t go out at all.”, he says with tired eyes.

Generation Pandemic

Andrea S., student at UPF and part of Generation Pandemic.


His life changed completely since he is not able to go to university anymore. Seeing friends, social interaction and physical activity are almost erased from his life. “All my energy goes into studying and doing lectures online.” Overall, he is quite happy with how the university handled the situation. But the fact that exams will be online as well, makes him think about going back to his country. “I feel like I could be more productive at home in Italy”. With two flat mates, both working from home now, there are a lot of distractions.

“I can’t seperate home and work anymore.”

Another international student struggling with staying home is Georgia v. A. Being half Italian and half English, she works part-time during her studies at a translation company to earn money. She also must stay home now, studying and working. “I can’t seperate home and work anymore.”, she says. Still, she is quite impressed how well her working from home goes so far. The technology changed a lot since March, new innovations and ideas simplify work and studies. “Everything is going well – seen from the technological point of view”, Georgia says. It is the mental part that gives her problems. The missing social interaction she normally has at work or in university. The small coffee breaks with colleagues or friends, the cycle to the office, the simple fact of being able to leave the house.

Nobody knows how the situation will go on and when students will be able to return to campus. Many of them will experience milestone-losses. Some of them will have problems studying. And a few of them may even stop their studies. For sure the “Generation Pandemic” is marked from the Covid-19 crisis forever.

by Ronja Rick

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