While we expect the unexpected, the International Student House is living through this challenging time along with the rest of the world. A time where social distancing is vital and washing hands is compulsory. It’s certain that our grand of grandchildren will ask us questions like, “What happened in 2020?”.
I like a good routine. I wake up, have breakfast, enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea, and proceed to work or go to university for the day. Perhaps joining a museum or embassy meetup nearby, or even visiting a local coffee shop. These were some of the things I made sure I accomplished in an average week. Little did I know that such a routine would need major altering.
Now everything has become “…from home” or virtual, which does have its perks! There are times where I will have a lazy Sunday, but overall, I am a bit more productive and as ambitious as ever before. I am even enlightened to see my fellow ISH friends feel the same.
Sofía, resident scholar from Argentina, practicing yoga in the garden as the weekend comes.
Even in this time, the spirit of ISH still inspires our community of students and interns to continue to do the best in their respective fields. From virtual yoga to working out, residents are taking advantage of this time by enjoying the sunlight in the garden or simply catching up on a healthy lifestyle. I know I have visited my pantry of teas and did a major upgrade (there’s so many flavors!).
The quarantine and lock down in place has also outlined some of the finest spots in the house to study or work from home. Jorrit, Hideyuki, and Sofía have uniquely set up their home offices with their personal tastes. It’s almost as if you were walking through an office building during some hours of the day.
Hideyuki, resident scholar from Japan
Jorrit, resident scholars from the Netherlands
Sofía once again
Not all our days are about working though, we take breaks too! The best breaks are pizza nights. A most appreciative thank you goes to Board members and alumni who generously throw a pizza and cupcake nights (best recipe for a happy resident).
Gerardo, resident scholars from Mexico
Anastasia, resident scholar from the United States/Russia
Quarantine isn’t something we all expected. Some say it’s a time to find yourself and some feel as if it’s a break from reality. I didn’t expect for something like this to freeze the world. A little more than a month ago, I was living the extreme student-intern life. Waking up early and having breakfast with friends before our days began, going to my internship on the Hill, shifting midday into university, and then returning home after a long day to enjoy dinner in the dining hall with the most random (yet joyful) stories. I was busy with a capital B.
Things are a little different now, but that’s where you must make the best of it! While we are hopeful for things to get better, we must enjoy and adapt to these changes. For myself, I have found the time to learn the piano, enjoy relaxing yoga, and catch up on reading! What is something new you’d like to learn?
Yuhan, resident scholar from China
Well, if you don’t believe my perspective, just ask Yuhan. Whenever I go to the garden for a break between my studies, I always ask Yuhan which podcast she is listening to. Her simple routine and my break routine cross paths (at least six feet apart) and we both end up learning about each other’s hobbies.
The reality of it is, quarantine is what you make of it. Things happen in the world, but we must stay optimistic, be thankful of health, and continue to strive towards our goals and ambitions. I’m happy to see my ISH friends at their happy moments with the little things in life. We hope for the world to get better, and while that happens, for ourselves build our own knowledge. Remember that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Everything is hard before it is easy”.