Nov 8th, 2020, 05:56 PM

Confinement Part 2: Through the Eyes of AUP Students

By Presleigh Lauren Murray
A view of Paris's streets during lockdown. Image Credit: Amy Thorpe
A view from inside of Paris's empty streets during lockdown. Image Credit: Amy Thorpe
Students react to France's second quarantine.

As part of France's second round of confinement, university students are being forced to continue their classes online and curb the spread of the coronavirus by staying at home. For many AUP students, lockdown is something they already experienced last spring, and they are moving forward with a mix of anxiousness and positivity. 

AUP sophomore Luana Trabelsi, majoring in History, Law and Society, endured France's first confinement with an optimistic heart. This second confinement, however, she feels is "more complicated because we have already lived through one and we know how hard and annoying it can be." Sophomore Communications major Charley Caland seconded this, saying, "it is unfortunate that it has to be this way. Confinement is never fun."

This lockdown, although not as stringent as the one which lasted from March 17 to May 10, still imposes drastic restrictions upon outside activities. Residents are only allowed to leave their homes if their motivation is deemed necessary by the government's attestation. Because of this, many students are making the most of the pastimes they can do inside. 

Montparnasse deserted due to confinement. Image Credit: Unsplash/Kevin Dellandrea

Arabella Lytton Gay, a student double majoring in History, Law and Society and Fine Art, commented, "I will be journaling every day so in the end, I can look back, meet the new Arabella, and see how much I grew through this experience." Others are taking a different approach. "I try to make the best out of it each day by entertaining myself with art and movies," said Caland. "I also look forward to online classes and communicating with other students and professors."

Although remote classes are a consistent source of human interaction throughout confinement, they have still proven a challenge for many students. Trabelsi explained that she "[doesn't] mind having online classes but it is way harder to concentrate when working at home." Echoing this, Gay said, "I am worried that I might slack off on coursework but I am working on setting up a schedule so that I can train my mind to do the work."

Despite the obstacles, this is undoubtedly a learning experience for students. Caland explained how COVID-19 was not something that anyone could have ever expected, but said that it has "taught [her] a lot about having respect for others' health, as well as [her] own." Gay emphasized the importance of being optimistic about the lockdown while simultaneously acknowledging how difficult it might be. "I guess my mind is in a war zone of fear and excitement," she said. "I keep on having to remind myself that this will pass and that it is all an adventure. If I dwell on the negatives of it, this is going to be a very gloomy time, but if I look at the positives and welcome the change with open arms, I know I will grow. I am currently with my roommate but she might leave so there is that fear of being alone for God knows how long."

Arabella Lytton Gay with roommate Thalia Weissman on the first day of confinement. Image Credit: Arabella Lytton Gay

Though AUP students have concerns about the month ahead, it seems many are maintaining a positive outlook and searching for the ways in which they can best use their time. As Trabelsi concluded, "I guess anybody who wants to remain healthy during this second confinement definitely can, but anybody can also turn this next month into a really bad time." 

This lockdown could undoubtedly turn into a vicious cycle of sleeping the days away, not getting enough time in the sun, not engaging your body in any physical activity and not communicating often enough with the ones you care about most. However, it could also turn into a relief — students finally have more time to dedicate to themselves and the projects they have been thinking about. Simply, it all comes down to each person's outlook and how wisely they use their time.