I am getting ready to head into the second semester at FH Kiel. The detailed plan is already hammered out in my head. At first – wake up early in the morning, then work my child to the kindergarten, buy a delicious cup of coffee in the nearest coffee-house. Full of pith I am in a hurry to catch a Schwentine-boat. A perfect picture in my mind suddenly shifts to living nightmare. I am staying in the room by hanging out the washing, thinking out new creative task for my little daughter and simultaneously trying to follow the track of discourse during the Zoom meeting with professor. In fact it is not the End of days. It is obviously the time for exploring hidden talents. It appears to be certain that my husband knows how to cook and how to employ our active child at cutting out paper dolls during my online studies. On a parallel track he can also coach girls soccer-team on the Web. Everybody can find personal benefits in Studying at Home. There are some of them.

Pyjama style

I don’t mind anymore, what should I wear (to the university or to my job). In fact I had not such a question in my head even before studying-at-home-period. If somebody had told me two years ago that I would stop wearing dresses and high heels, I would not believe. But after moving to Germany, my clothing style has changed as well. Jeans and T-shirt are now my eternal companions. So the transition to online studying has made no critical adjustments here. But home confinement could have more negative consequences. And on one fine day you forget to switch off camera during the Webex-meeting and comes out in your true colours, in other words in pyjama before community. So the first rule of working or studying from home: never wear pyjamas. Although… how something appears is always a matter of perspective. Fashion designers are already at work upon working-from-home pyjama sets for us.


Home Office
Home Office for students (Photo: private)

It is time to switch on dusty coffee machine and forget about paper cups. According to estimates I will save 70 euro a month by making coffee at home instead of buying it in Campus Suite or anywhere else. It is definitely huge amount of money taking into account the fact that I am not helplessly addicted to caffeine person. On the weekend I shift my attention drama free to tea. The same can’t be said for my husband who drinks jumbo cup of coffee several times a day. So I have found decision how to close gaps in our household budget. And of course coffee-to-go is not large expense item in comparison with food from restaurants. Preparing meals at home instead of going out to seat at restaurant save you sight of money.  

Forget crowded buses and traffic

Probably this benefit would be better measurable in my home city Moscow. According to the Dutch Traffic Index by TomTom, drivers in Russia’s capital last year waited on average 225 hours in traffic queues. Last weekend of march around 850,000 people have left the city, the rest of inhabitants are basically sitting at home. My mom says that current Moscow reminds her Olympic games in summer 1980: extra-clean streets, no traffic, just order and morale. Traffic jam in Kiel is rarely guest, but crowded bus during peak hours is an every day occurrence. To forget for some time rickety transportation tubes, having people scuff your shoes is not a bad idea.

Bank-sleep and studying on the balcony

Home Office
Balcony workspace (Photo: private)

It finally happened. I am getting enough sleep. The alarm clock sounds, but all the members of my family don’t care about it. The scientists argue that sleep can help us be more productive and prevent burnout. Actually I can’t get anything done, but I am easy-going about this fact. Probably the examination period can change my mind.

Nobody likes to be cooped up indoors, especially on sunny days. Optimal solution to this problem can be moving a workplace to the balcony. Students  especially in spring can enjoy the views, fresh air and vitamin D from the sunlight and get inspire for work. On the balcony is obviously better than in the library.

After-work time

And don’t forget about the after-work time. Isolation period is not a reason for reduction of social contacts. It is now a time for creative solutions. What’s about to visit international online bar. Russian creative agency from Saint Petersburg called the Shishki Collective launched virtual video-conferencing the Stay the F*** Home bar. People from all over the world can meet, have a drink and discuss different topics. And the good news for art amateurs – theater goes also online. Live-streams of news plays or classics from the archive are available now to watch on a pay-what-you-like basis. The bright sight of the current pandemic is difficult to find, but nothing is impossible even during the challenging times.