We hope you are ready for another year of interesting articles brought to you by the incredible editorial committee. This year’s committee consists of three awesome AEGEE members: Andrea Rodrigues, Kevin Gooyert, and the one-and-only Charley Sjerps! Together we are responsible for writing, editing, and publishing riveting articles on all things AEGEE, remarkable people, current events, committee introductions, and more!
In this article, you will get to know more about our committee and what we did during the first lockdown.
Our chairwoman is the Amazing Andrea, a 22-year-old student from New Zealand. She is currently in the third year of her International and European Law degree. You may know her as the PR responsible of last year’s Europe Committee or one of the other five associations she is currently active in.
Our secretary is Kind Kevin, a 25-year-old Human Geography and Planning student from The Netherlands. If you have ever sent us an email, you probably know of Kevin, if not, feel free to say hi by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an AEGEE-member, chances are you know our treasurer Charming Charley. 23-year-old Charley is a long time member of AEGEE-Groningen and a Graphical IT student from The Netherlands. You may know Charley as she is outgoing and very active in both AEGEE-Groningen and AEGEE-Europe.
Andrea: The Chairwoman
After a few weeks of the lockdown, I finally decided I wanted to be productive again. The majority of my friends left Groningen at the start of the lockdown and after a few weeks of nothingness, I decided that as much fun as binge-watching Netflix, sleeping till 1 pm and long bike rides to Haren were, I missed the rush of endorphins I got from crossing off things on my to-do list. I must admit my type A personality got the better of me and I decided I needed to resurrect some of my old hobbies. The same hobbies I once put on a pedestal and vowed I would only come back to once I had more time.
I decided to take things slow, I wanted to enjoy my hobbies and do things on my own terms, rather than rush everything as I had done pre-quarantine. I spent my mornings practicing Dutch and keeping in touch with my friends and family back home in New Zealand. The late afternoon was strictly reserved for bike rides, soaking up the sun, and reading novels in Hoornsemeer. Occasionally a friend would join me and the afternoons were filled with hearty laughs, light banter, and picnics.
I would spend the evenings in the company of my trusty sewing machine creating new clothing and fixing things for my friends. I rediscovered my love for cooking and started cooking up storms as big as my tiny kitchen could handle. I also started with life-coaching sessions (you can read all about life-coaching here.) and finally felt like I had my anxiety under control.
I have to admit when online university began, I struggled to balance studying with my hobbies, but soon this became manageable. Overall, the lockdown that was once dull, draining, and monotonous later became an opportunity to improve my mental state and form deeper relationships with the people around me.
Kevin: The Secretary
Allow me to introduce myself by stating that first of all, I’m obsessed with cats. If I see a cat in the streets, I do have a habit to go ‘’PSPSPSPS”, only to be ignored by the cat or the cat fleeing away as fast as it can. That is why, during the start of the quarantine in February, I decided to get a cat of my own. My very own precious kitten, called Nala, who keeps me company during the many hours of studying at home. Studying can be tough these times, especially finding motivation to follow the (often chaotically constructed) online classes. I usually alternate studying with a healthy walk through the city centre, or the surrounding neighbourhoods. This really helps me clear my mind and it feels good to leave the house every now and then (and I get to see more cats!).
During quarantine, I also rediscovered my passion for badminton (with help of my sporting buddy Mark), which I had played professionally for many years. As one of the few excuses to go out of the house these days, I try to play badminton every week. And of course, it is always fun to beat Mark in a 1v1, although he might not agree with me.
Furthermore, the COVID crisis also had a big impact on my working environment, as I’m working part time at a supermarket for almost 8 years now (yes, I know this is way too long and I should have left this place a few years ago). When the first lockdown was initiated and shops and restaurants closed down, working at a supermarket suddenly became a ‘vital’ profession. This meant more workload because of the increasing demand from customers, and it can be quite stressful at times.
But everything considered, I have managed to get through this quarantine quite well and I’m still healthy. I’m hoping all of you are doing the same, hang in there!
Charley: The Treasurer
Let me begin with stating that I might be just as obsessed, if not more, with cats as our dear Kevin is. A year and a half ago I also got myself a cat, her name is Molly, and she is the cutest snuggle buddy anyone can ask for. I’m well-versed in annoying my friends with cute cat pictures they didn’t ask for, and telling them long stories about the daily life of my cat. Having a pet during these times has really been a support for me during the long days working from home.
However, as surprising as it might be, there is more to me than my cat. At the beginning of the COVID crisis it was really daunting for me to find a rhythm, and focus on my studies. Some people might argue that I tend to struggle with my studies, regardless of a global pandemic, something I can’t quite deny. However, once I got into the habit of scheduling my own school work more, I realized I had a lot more free time than I used to. And I decided that this was the perfect moment to start developing skills that I always said I would start with, if I ever found the time.
I created a Skillshare account. It’s a website with countless online workshops for you to follow, most of them are from a really high quality. Through this, I’ve been learning more about Photoshop, video editing, digital drawing, piano and even cooking. I can really recommend finding something like this for yourself because even though the current situation of our world sucks, it is also an opportunity for self development.
COVID has also enabled me to finally work on my gaming backlog. Both videogames and old school board games, I’ve been playing a lot of them. And in case you’re like me and are not a big fan of the Basic-Fit, and you happen to own a Switch, maybe consider buying Ring Fit Adventure, it’s a quirky game that gives you a real good home workout, or just go out for a bike ride, I’ve been doing a lot of those too.