Student Life Under Restrictions: How to Fight Boredom!

- "Tere-tere!"

- "Kuidas sul läheb?"

- "Mul on hästi! :)"

 As you can see, nowadays I am improving my Estonian. Oh, you ask how I find time to learn Estonian with my busy university schedule?  The answer is quite simple, due to restrictions! Yes, yes... I can already hear you asking how the restrictions can possibly help an international student to develop his/her skills. I understand that lockdown or restrictions don't sound too positive. But, we see things as we want to see them. :)  - Dilara

Cover of Estonian Language brochure

Cover of Estonian Language brochure by Estonian Institute. Photo: Estonian Institute

So let’s have a look at how my regular student life goes on with restrictions in Estonia! I will try to share some tips that you can apply to get rid of your boredom during these difficult times.

First of all, as of March 1st, we have stricter restrictions than before in Estonia. All schools and universities are closed, which means we have online lessons in my university as well. Even before, Estonian Business School provided online and in-class (hybrid lessons) for us. That was a great opportunity to choose if we were sick, so we could avoid spreading illness to our classmates, lecturers, and school staff.

Currently, taking online classes is not bothering me at all! During the lessons we do a lot of teamwork which helps to retain the received  information more. With online education, sometimes you can lose track or lose focus when you are away from your teacher and classmates. Luckily, teamwork and group homework after class are pretty helpful for creating an in-class atmosphere at home! Also, they have psychologically beneficial effects on students as staying in touch with your teachers and classmates makes you more motivated during restrictions. I believe the teamwork is pretty important because while gathering face-to-face is not advised during the restrictions, during online lessons I can still talk to and see my friends!

Dilara studying at home

Online studies. Photo: Dilara

In addition to my online education, I am planning to join an online Estonian language class! I have been thinking about it for a while,  so before starting the language classes I set some small goals for myself. What I mean as a small goal is that I am preparing myself for a big Estonian language marathon with small steps! I am following Estonian blogs, Estonian influencers, and Estonian language accounts on social media.

Nowadays, I am trying to challenge myself whenever I see texts in Estonian. I try to translate them and memorize words and sentences. So far it's going great and I will keep you updated on my progress in the next blog post. Who knows, maybe I will learn more and get better at Estonian with the help of Estonian language classes!

I think the best part of being an international student in Estonia is that you can spend time discovering a new language and new culture. If you are interested in Estonian, you should check out the website of Settle In Estonia and find out more about Estonian Language courses!

Dilara on EV103

Visiting the Tallinn Town Square during Estonian Independence Day. Photo: Dilara

Besides spending time online, I have also developed my sports skills. I would say that the lockdown has had several noteworthy side-effects on me. For example, I use my after-class time for home Pilates instead of spending it in traffic! If you are also struggling to find things to do and don’t like heavy workouts like me, you should try some YouTube Pilates or yoga tutorial videos. According to psychologists, we should keep ourselves active during the lockdown period, since we are usually at home and sitting down all day long. Even regular stretching exercises in the morning and evening have a good impact on your physical condition and health! Please don’t postpone taking care of yourself and your body, particularly in these tough times. You are important, we are important! 

Self care

Don't forget about your physical and mental well-being! Photo: Pexels

Speaking of sports, Estonia has so many opportunities for you if you just look around a little bit. Sport and physical health are quite important for Estonians. There are loads of gyms, private Pilates, Zumba, yoga classes, and so on. You just need to search for what you like and are interested in and I am sure you will find it regardless of where you are in Estonia! 

It is a fact that we cannot stay indoors 24/7 so if the weather is adequate I immediately go for a walk! To be honest, I am still trying to get used to the Estonian winter, but I am very hopeful about spring. Recently we have had more sun and the plants are slowly flourishing. By the way, Estonia is such a great country if you are curious about hiking since 50% of the land is covered by forest! 

Bog trail

View of a bog trail. Photo: Sven Zacek

Plus, Estonia has beautiful bog hiking routes. Whether winter or summer, doesn't matter, you should go for it! To see one of the bog routes in Tallinn and hear some comments from our lovely Student Ambassadors, check out our last video! 

It was such a pleasure to write about how I am doing in restrictions and share some tips with you :) But I am curious and want to hear from you as well! So please, let me know if you have ideas to add to get rid of the boredom during restrictions!

Take care and stay safe! :)