Alumni Voice


“The Changes of My Life-style Due to Covid-19”

Ayano Miyamori

University student (Faculty of Economics)

Many things have changed during 2020. Especially in April, when Covid-19 was starting to spread widely. It was just the same time when I became a first grader of the university, since schools starts in April in Japan. The entrance ceremony was cancelled, and we did not know when the school would start. I remember that I was very confused of the pandemic happening at the same time as my turning point. I am not able to compare with the campus life before the COVID-19, but I faced a lot of new situations over the past few months.

Some examples of what have changed from the situation before are that I am taking classes and tests online, I am forced to put on masks wherever I go, after taking the temperature at the entrance of school we must put on a sticker to the masks, and so on. At the place where I work for part time job, we have to put face shields in addition to the mask, or in another place we talk to the customers from behind the plastic sheets which is hanging from the ceiling. One thing I have noticed is that these masks, face shields and plastic sheets make us difficult to communicate. The reason for this is because we cannot see each other’s mouth and expressions clearly, and that it is difficult to catch voices. I am coping with this situation by making eye contacts as much as possible, and using gestures to show what I want to say. Disinfectant spray could be seen everywhere in the city, and we are told to keep some distance between people. I myself have not met with my grandparents for a while. When we met one time, we made sure to keep the distance. Another thing I am being careful of is not to communicate much when I am eating with my friends. After finishing our dishes, we put on our masks and talk.

The way of making new friends have changed as well. I even had a chance to become friends with people whom I have never seen the appearance of, since in some classes we do not put our videos on. When meeting with someone whom I have only chatted online, we often get surprised of each other’s height. We could see the upper part of the body when we are using video calls, so the first thing we speak face-to-face is “you are taller/shorter than I thought!”. From my experience, I think it is easier for us to make friends when meeting face-to-face than talking online because in video calls, we can see the expressions and hear how he or she speaks, but we cannot see the movements and postures.

Due to the changes of my lifestyle, I do not have to go to school every day, so I have more free time to use for myself. Going to school and returning to my house takes me 2 hours in total. The elimination of this commuting time helps me stay healthy since I can take enough sleep and work on my homework. Using my free time, I was able to take French lessons, and also pass an exam I wanted to take. Right now, I am interested in learning French as my third language, so as a next step I am interested in taking DELF, an exam for French. Hopefully in the near future, after everything have settled down, I am thinking of studying at France. In order to do so, I would like to continue learning French using my free-time.

 In addition to the increase of free-time, we do not have to gather for meetings anymore, so it has become easier for us to schedule the meetings. There is a time limitation for the meetings we hold online. Thus, we are able to have an efficient discussion in the time limit. However, as I have started attending to school 3 days a week, I have noticed that the number of people riding on trains is returning to the situation as it was like before the pandemic. Although remote work was gathering some attention during the lockdown, it seems like many people are starting to work at their offices again. Since both face-to-face classes and online classes have both positive and negative points, I prefer using both of them for lessons at the university. For big scaled classes, I prefer taking classes on demand because there are not many merits for taking classes face-to-face, and we are able to listen to the lecture at double speed whenever we want to. For small classes such as seminars, I prefer face-to-face since it is easy for us to discuss using whiteboards.

The Covid-19 have provided us the opportunity of reviewing our work-life balance. As a result, I think my life have become healthier and more abundant. On the other hand, communicating with people has become difficult than before. Thus, at my work place I will continue to use eye contacts and body languages as much as possible, and at university, I would like to meet with my friends both online and offline.









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