“We university students forgotten by everyone”

When students commented on our cover on distance discomfort, some voices raised a question that needed to be noted: what about the university students?

If secondary school students complain about the lack of clarity or lack of foresight of the measures implemented and the tiring open and close of schools, university students do not even know what to complain about and with whom. At each new Dpcm they carefully follow the list of measures introduced from time to time, waiting to be called into question, to hear the word university, library, internships, laboratories, anything that can exempt them from yet another email to the professor or librarian on duty to ask “So am I allowed access?”. But nothing, or almost nothing, and at the end of each press conference the long series of “So what about us?” between faculty colleagues and professors.

If the high school students, in recent months, have suffered from being far away, the university students have suffered indifference and forgetfulness; perhaps it was thought that the University could go on anyway, in one way or another. At most, a few words were spent on freshmen, who tried to guarantee face-to-face lessons. “We university students are the very last wheel of the wagon,” they write to us.

On Twitter, when we presented the #DisagioADistanza space, an ironic popped up “Not even l’Espresso is interested in us university students and prefers high school students.” And so let’s take note and give everyone a chance to reflect on what it’s like to be a college student in 2020.
Because – irony aside – reading that “it is easier to give up everything than to continue” or “I cry, staring at the wall” some serious reflection provokes her.


“As a university student, I am experiencing a situation of complete desolation. Lately, however, I have been slowly getting used to the idea of ​​having to follow and take exams from home. But it is not as “comfortable” as it seems. The first few months were hellish. On the other hand I was a student in the first year of Communication Sciences, I had recently become familiar with studying and with university rhythms and therefore it was complicated to suddenly find yourself in remote mode. Fortunately, with a bit of good will, I am passing some exams, but the big catch of this historical moment we are experiencing is that it is really difficult to find an outlet to disconnect from the study. And this is the real dilemma. So I hope that anyone who reads these words of mine will do something to get us back in attendance as soon as possible, because at the moment we university students are completely forgotten by everyone! ».

“During the onset of the pandemic I was in the fifth grade and I did not blame the distance learning in the least; in the school I attended very little was already done, 60% of the teachers never took a lesson and those who did were totally unprepared and had connection problems most of the time. Consequently, I experienced it as a long vacation period, during which I independently studied only the subjects that interested me. The first year of university was certainly more disastrous, I had to give up the dream of going to live in Milan for another year and I slowly slipped between depression and apathy. The teaching service is provided really well, the teachers are equipped and motivated, however I found myself spending 8/10 hours in a row in front of the computer and, despite the excellent organization, the study of languages ​​becomes really difficult. On a psychological level it was and still is exhausting. For the first time I refused to leave the house or to talk to my friends and boyfriend. I felt like a total failure and saw myself as extremely inferior to other girls. Gradually acceptance takes over, but it is still difficult and I often find myself crying staring at the wall. I hope all this ends quickly ».

«We are Raffaella and Lucia, two university students. We graduated in July in Political Science from LUISS and in Literature at the University of Ferrara respectively; online of course, and perhaps precisely for this reason we have not yet been able to realize, as we have not yet realized that we are both enrolled in the master’s degree, one at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice and the other at the Alma Mater studiorum in Bologna. Yes, because Dad makes you lose touch with reality and at the same time the perception of time. As if this slips from your hands and you can’t grasp it; as if the hands of the clock were running wildly in front of you and your helplessness. You arrive at the end of the day, exhausted from the endless hours of lessons in front of a computer, but you seem to remember nothing or it really is. The connection is gone and you have lost the most important quarter of an hour of the whole lesson; so first you begin not to understand, then to get distracted, you take your cell phone, you hear your friends and you see that even they have not understood anything, then and there you feel relieved, because you understand that you are not the problem. Then you decide to get up to make yourself a coffee. The lesson is over, but it seems to you that you have not completed anything, that you have not invested the time you had available in the best way. In addition to this, we have suffered the discomfort of not having been able to say goodbye to our friends from the triennial, nor to get to know our new cities and universities in depth. If before the university was also and above all a place for meeting and exchanging ideas, now we feel confined to our rooms, with heavy eyes and almost never being able to establish contacts that go beyond group work, even those strictly in video call. Finally, the possibilities of alternating study with professional experiences through internships are reduced to a minimum, with a meager offer of online editing jobs, even here without the possibility of reaching jobs safely. We know that education at every level and grade is taking hard hits, but we academics are the very last wheel of the wagon. A category condemned to damnatio memoriae that of university students, we who are the backbone of this country, to which we strive every day to give a better future. It is not easy, we assure you. Studying is a privilege, but it is tiring, exhausting both mentally and physically. We are losing an essential piece of life, of the best years ».
(Lucy Alma Mater Bologna
Raffaella, Ca ‘Foscari University, Venice)

edited by Martina Santamaria

Source: Rss l'Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.

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