The Corona virus wages on; the restrictions stand firm, and to many of us, that means that we will have to face Christmas head on differently from how we originally expected and planned. But perhaps most challenging, we may have to face the upcoming holidays without getting to celebrate it with our family and friends. This can be particularly challenging for those who study abroad in Norway, those of us whose family may be stuck in their home country, who cannot travel back home because of a lack of flights, or because they cannot take the risk of catching a Corona infection, or perhaps because of their economic situation, making it impossible to journey home. These are difficult times indeed, and with the restrictions in place preventing us from having friends over for the company, Christmas may be celebrated in solitude for too many students this year. 

We have difficult times ahead of us. Most of us have completed our home exams; we may have had a struggle with our motivation to read books; with our motivation to complete our assignments; to write our bachelor’s or master’s thesis, or even our required papers, reports, and dissertations towards a PHD degree. But we have been through difficult times in the past, have we not? And we have all made it through our hardships and challenges, to get where we are today; students enrolled at university level, studying and working hard for our future, to build the road ahead of us that will pave the way to our career. There is a saying; life goes on. Even in the most troublesome of times, life will still go on, and it will still find a way through. It may be scarred forever; it may carry difficult and troubling memories; but life goes on. And that is what we all have to do, in these difficult times; we have to go on, we have to fight our way through these difficult and challenging times that we are all caught in now at the moment. It may be dark in this tunnel that we have all gone into together, but like all tunnels; there’s light in the end. Light that will bring us out into the open, that will help us out of these difficult times, and that will give us motivation to go on. 

So this is for you, international students out there; do not give up hope, do not let the solitude get to you; these are dark times indeed, but even in the darkest of places, there will always be a light that shines through, that will guide you through, that will show you that there are light ahead, that things will become easier. Most importantly, you must not be afraid to talk with others. Conversing can be helpful; talk to your fellow students, keep close contact with your advisors, professors, and lecturers should you feel like you cannot keep up with your studies. It will not last forever, and when they end, light will once again shine through, and we will be back from the shadows. 


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