Let us help each other through a critical time

The President about well-being during the corona crisis: Reach out and find opportunities to talk together, and ask for help if the situation is overwhelming you.

‘All restrictions are extended.’ This is what the university director said after the government’s press conference on 24 February. It was certainly disappointing news for many students and staff who sincerely miss meeting physically with fellow students, faculty, or colleagues. Unfortunately, we cannot expect it to change significantly in the next few months, so I would appeal to us to help each other get the best out of a difficult situation.

Over the past year, many of us have lived more or less trapped in a small bubble at home. In addition, we have had to look after studies or work at a distance. However, we do not all react the same way to this unusual situation. Some perform better when they do not have to deal with the social in everyday life but can concentrate on writing the big report, breaking the problematic code, or immersing himself or herself in the complicated stuff. In contrast, others lose energy when they have to do without interaction with colleagues or the physical meeting with teachers and fellow students.

We are all different and need completely different conditions to perform our best. There is no reason to blame yourself if you feel bad and have difficulty coping with the tasks under these unusual conditions. It is okay to ask for help from your manager or a colleague, from the work environment representative, or in the psychologist’s counseling.

Nevertheless, at the same time, we must not see ourselves as victims. After all, at DTU, we are in a better position than many others are in society. So we need to think: Could I lend a helping hand to someone who is having a more challenging time than me, instead of feeling sorry for myself?

The other day, I spoke to a student who, during a Zoom meeting, had noticed that the fellow student’s dorm room was a bit neglected. He decided to pass the college with a garbage bag, and after the clean-up, the two had agreed to talk at least once a week and occasionally go for a walk together.

I think this is an excellent example of how you can share out your profits and maybe at the same time get better yourself. There are many ways to reach out to each other. You can also refresh an old cake arrangement or lunch agreement – online – and talk a little about the course of life, the studies, the children at home, or whatever it may be. Many problems become smaller if you share them with others.

We probably all wish the situation looked different and looked more like itself from before the corona turned everything upside down. However, let’s try to be constructive together and help each other through this time as much as possible.

I am pleased that this year we are starting the new well-being dialogues as a replacement for the written well-being surveys. The timing is right because the first experiences from the well-being dialogues that are already underway show that corona takes up many people’s space. The well-being dialogue is an excellent opportunity to talk together about the work environment and how we each experience it at this time.

Remember that at DTU Inside, you can find inspiration and useful advice to make homework and studies work. Here is also a guide to get more professional help if you are losing your footing.

With this invitation to reach out and find opportunities to talk together, I want to wish you all a good and hopefully sunny spring.

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