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10 november 2021

The urgency of a safety net

It has been about a year and a half since the pandemic started, and it feels like a cliche to begin an article with the phrase ‘COVID-19 has a great impact on our lives’. The thing is that COVID did have an effect on our lives. Whether that effect is that your social network collapsed or that you could not have an internship or could not live a normal life as a university student.

I was struck by how many second-year students have not gotten used to the VU yet

I am concerned about how students have not been able to take chances that they normally could. They did not have a proper introduction week, nor could they go to class for an entire year. This generation of students was not as likely to join boards, which helps develop skills and their resumes. Recently, I was talking to a few second-year students and I was struck by how many have not gotten used to the VU yet. They are taking it in stride, but should not have to. After this conversation, I sat down and I was lamenting that I could not help every single one of them. Though I cannot help the students by myself, I believe that the VU community can help them.

I want there to be a secure network for the second year as they already lost their first year as a university student to online education. This network should have events and opportunities to grow. We have already seen that second-year students want to have events to meet each other and meet the VU. The Happy Landing Event that was held in September completely sold out and the students had fun. There are also activities that would help with the development of their skills such as Bridging Success or the workshops that Career Services give. The VU already has all of the workshops and events to help the second-year students. However, the communication to the students could be better. If that is improved then we could have a good safety net for the second-year students. This safety net could then be continued for future students of the VU.

Manon Hofman

m.hofman.usr@vu.nl

Manon Hofman USR

 

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