Quarantine blog (7): Misfits

20 May 2020

Staying in, online lectures, social distancing. How do students deal with it? In this relay blog, Vox writers who study at Radboud write about their life in times of corona. Denise Roodbeen, English language and culture student, transforms her house into a jungle.

Before all this, I was quite content with my two roommates, but now they are compulsory my best friends. We are like a gathered family, with a slightly neurotic mother, a weird aunt and a fragile grandmother. Together with our significant others, the average Wednesday afternoon looks like a typical Dutch circle party, and Sunday nights are often spontaneous game nights.

The first days at home, we all had to get used to each other and search for the best way to handle the situation. Caution has become the new normal, and we have all become slightly addicted to a new hobby: plants. Through plantje.nl, we all ordered a box of “kneusjes” (Dutch word, meaning something like “misfit”): plants that are too ugly for the the store, which are sent to your house in a surprise box for a small price. My room holds more plants than study books now, and my roommates are also studying in their own private jungle.

‘My room holds more plants than study books now’

A walk through the city often results in the purchase of a new green friend, who is welcomed by the rest of the family once we are home. On our balcony, there is not much room to sit anymore, because we prioritise our vegetable garden. We are still waiting for our first homegrown tomato, which will probably end up in a new pot to grow a second tomato plant.

We also never said goodbye to our other hobby: drinking beer. To create a bar in our own home, we organised a pub crawl. The bathroom was ‘Bath cafe’, the hallway ‘Halle Babbe’, de living room changed into ‘Cafébo’ and my own room was the ‘Billapong’. We were welcomed with a shot and we played classic bar games like beer pong and ‘bussen’, but my favourite part of the night was still playing 30 seconds with six people in our small bathroom.

Whether our strong friendship is just the result of a lack of alternatives remains a mystery until this crisis is over, but for now, our little family is still taking good care of each other.

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