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Blog: Sharing experiences is freedom - Let's share them!

Hello my student colleague,

To begin this blog post somewhere, I’ll repeat the often repeated statement, “this pandemic year has been difficult on all of us”. This overused statement is however the truth. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the “eat and sleep well, exercise enough and maintain your social relationships” advice. Unfortunately study motivation cannot be bought and mental health cured by will. I personally have been one tired, stressed and procrastinating student. Well actually, I have been those well before the pandemic.

Problems with motivation and coping have been daily life for many students for a long time. The pandemic made them worse and forced us to stop for a while, whether we like it or not. Academic freedom has its pros and cons. It’s perfectly okay to feel like there is too much freedom and that you miss externally imposed routines and deadlines. Getting peer support and having difficulties feeling like a part of the university community has been difficult. You start to wonder whether you belong to the university at all, whether you’re in the right field and whether anyone even notices your work and what even is the point of it. In the middle of the pressure to graduate on schedule, surrounded by an achievement-oriented society, you start to wonder what’s wrong with you for not being as good and fast as everyone else seems to be.

If you recognise yourself from this text, you’re not the only one. It doesn’t matter what you study and how far into your studies you are. Majority of us students have wondered about those things at some point and it’s easy to believe that you are the only one in that situation. This blog was launched to make your voice heard, whether it’s by writing on this blog with your name or anonymously or just reading the posts for support. Sharing the experience is liberating. 

- Ronja Mäkinen

Mäkinen is a master's student in social psychology. In 2018, she served on ISYY's Executive Board (Social Politics and Development Cooperation) and participated in the Representative Council. In the spring of 2021, she was ISYY's and planned the activities of the BRIDGES project. She is currently working as a Student2Student peer tutor at the University of Eastern Finland.

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