– I want you to know that I am very proud of you. The efforts you have made are an important reason why the University of Stavanger has kept afloat during the pandemic. You have all loyally and successfully complied with infection control measures. In addition, we have had some well-deserved luck. There is very little infection at our university.
I hope this finds you well and that you’re not too stressed out by exam revisions. If it’s any consolation, Christmas break is just around the corner.
I want you to know that I am very proud of you. Because I know that it can be difficult to motivate yourselves to study at times like these. You probably miss normal life, with physical contact, social get-togethers and hanging out on campus. But throughout all this you have kept going. Attended lectures, studied on your own, handed in papers and revised for exams.
The efforts you have made are an important reason why the University of Stavanger has kept afloat during the pandemic. You have all loyally and successfully complied with infection control measures. In addition, we have had some well-deserved luck. There is very little infection at our university.
Of course, it's a drag that you’ve had to manage without big concerts and festivals. To sit at home instead of being out among people. And to be glued to the screen all day long instead of mingling with fellow students on campus.
And now in November, we have had our lives restricted all over again. Infection control affects us in all parts of life: studies, work, leisure, holidays, friendships, romances - and everything else we that live for.
I am glad that UiS is still open. You can still study in the reading rooms, work in groups in the library and have coffee in the cafés. Get out there and meet people on the arenas that are still available.
Did you know that conscious breathing is one of the best ways to relieve stress? From Monday we will organise daily walks for those of you who want to stretch your legs, breathe in the crisp air in the scarce autumn daylight. Bring a friend or three, perhaps there is someone you think could use some company. Or come as you are. Meet up at noon outside the Arne Rettedal building. A guide will take a small group on a walk nearby. These walks will be offered on a daily basis on weekdays until mid-December.
Before we know it, it's Christmas. Probably not with too many Christmas parties lined up, but instead small gatherings with lots of Christmas food and good conversations. Don’t forget that a celebration of life and exam results is still in order, even during a pandemic. Pat yourself on the back and be pleased about what you have achieved.
While we are waiting for the new year and a new semester, I urge you to take good care of yourselves and your fellow students. Make that phone call. Knock on your neighbour’s door. Helping others is also helping yourself. UiS offers counselling and guidance to students during the pandemic. Check out our website for more information.
I don’t know what the next semester will be like. But the corona situation will probably be with us until the summer of next year. That’s not too far away. For all of us this means that we have to stay at home more, practice social distancing and keep our hands clean.
So hang in there just a bit longer. Everything will be OK!