The 11th of March was the day our public health minister announced the closing of all educational institutions, including universities. A week later, the government had decided to take measures and announced a state of emergency across the whole country of the Republic of Macedonia. One month later, the curfew was introduced, as a way of limiting the civilians’ movements during the day and night. Most of us students kept on being levelheaded, and continued regularly attending online classes, as if we would during university.
It was during this time, when the student youth council of the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, or UKIM, decided to unify students from each city of Macedonia and support each other during these times of confusion and panic. This action had been achieved thanks to the introduction of the student media “Avangarda”. Its creation was advertised first on Facebook, and later on Instagram. The growth of popularity and followers on both social platforms, eventually led to Avangarda to branch out in means of many other projects, as ways of network and fundamental entertainment for its students during the lockdown. A couple of student podcasts were birthed out from this quick trend, which were hosted by the students of UKIM, where they hold a wide range of topics, from hygiene control or other such measures during quarantine, to horrible high school memories, and even the political strategies of global superpowers.
Soon after, our main student media also got its own official websites uploaded, where students could find valid information about recent events, and announcements from their universities. It was also at this time, when the first online workshop organized by the university council took place, through the online platform named Zoom. Its first mission was successful among its audience and the production team, who announced that there would be many more workshops in the upcoming future.
This virus spread is the proof of our solidification and synchronized teamwork, working with one another to better ease the students’ mental and physical experiences through the monotonous days of online lecturing, while staying at home quarantined.
If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that the students of twenty-three state faculties, which make up the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, have combined all their rational power and courage in one entity, to ease this process of quarantine, and create a comfortable environment where students can contribute to academic and other similar fields with the assistance of one another.
No matter how long this pandemic will last, I, and my colleagues from over thirty other cities of my country, will stay together and will never let the current situation get a hold of our hopes and expectations.