Student adjusts to being home in Norway

Photo courtesy of Malin Enger
By Renee Sobaram

Photo courtesy of Malin Enger

Student adjusts to being home in Norway

By Renee Sobaram
International student Malin Enger, a senior studying media management, is wrapping up the spring semester in Oslo, Norway.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many around the globe, including college students who had to stop their normal day-to-day activities, pack up their belongings, and travel thousands of miles back home as colleges and universities canceled in-person classes and events and postponed spring commencement ceremonies.  

Malin Enger, a University of Miami senior, did not expect to be spending her second-to-last semester back home in Oslo, Norway.  

Living in Miami for nearly three years after transferring from Santa Monica College in California, Enger had a daily routine. During the week, after breakfast, she would take the Metrorail to campus for classes and end her day at the gym, followed by dinner and a quick study session. On the weekends, she enjoyed going out with her friends to local Miami hotspots such as Story and LIV. With the current outbreak of COVID-19 and having to move back home and adjust to a different lifestyle, Enger is having a difficult time acclimating to the cold weather—because she had been living in warm weather since 2016. 

Enger also had to adjust to taking her courses online, and she had to accommodate the time zone differences between Norway and Miami. She misses her friends, her routine in Miami, and the ability to go out whenever she wants. Typically, the only interaction she has with her friends at UM are during virtual class discussions or group meetings.  

When Enger initially returned to Norway, she had to self-isolate for 14 days at her mother’s house. She only recently visited her father. 

Although Enger is not happy with the current situation, she is trying to make the best of it by incorporating some of the things she did in Miami. Even though gyms in her hometown are closed, she has continued to exercise at home. In addition, Enger and her mother are jogging together for extra physical activity. And, she is considering resurrecting an old hobby—knitting—to help keep her busy.  

Despite the negatives, being back home has also been positive. It has given Enger the opportunity to spend quality time with her family. When she isn’t in class or studying, she spends time with them watching television and baking. 

“My mom is glad that I’m back home; she wanted me to be home during all of this,” Enger said. “My dad usually handles me being away better than my mom, but he is still happy that I’m not in Miami.” 

As cases of COVID-19 around the world continue to increase, Enger is grateful that she is healthy and still can finish her courses.  

According to Enger, everyone can learn a lesson from this pandemic, and they should not take things for granted. “A lot of people are currently out of a job or worried about their financial situation; and although I’ve been upset about a lot of things, I’m just grateful that I do not have to worry about any of that,” said Enger, who hopes to graduate in December.