Being a student living at THE FIZZ has never been as beneficial as it is in this situation. You live in your own apartment, where you have your own bathroom, own mini kitchen, and everything else you need for an easy and comfortable self-isolation. One of the perks is also not having to encounter your roommates or being in daily contact with your dorm mates. Nevertheless, the given circumstances are anything else than easy for all of us.
The downside of this situation would be that self-quarantine in approximatly 25 m² could drive anyone crazy. Not to mention that one of the things that makes THE FIZZ what it is, is now unfortunately put on hold. I am talking about the community here. One of the main reasons that made me move into THE FIZZ, other than having my own bathroom, is it’s community. And because of the current situation our community took a big punch to the guts.
What makes THE FIZZ great and unique is also what makes it dangerous now. Being a FiZZie for more than four years was the most interesting experience I’ve ever had. I met a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures that opened my eyes to another world.
Although a person can easily isolate him/herself, especially if he/she is an introvert, I was lucky enough to gain a lot of friends, that I can proudly call my second family or (cringe alert) “Brothers and sisters from another mother”.
During my stay in THE FIZZ and working as a student brand manager “SBM”, I encountered many people, who would never have had the courage to introduce themselves. I always tried my best to make them feel comfortable and welcomed. Without the small gesture of asking them personally to join, they would have simply stayed in their apartments and most probably shut themselves out.
Sometimes all it takes is just one moment of courage to introduce ourselves “Hi, I am ...” , sadly most of us never take that step first, fearing embarrassment, rejection or just being afraid of forcing themselves on others.
We would rather justify this fear by convincing ourselves that people can be rude or that they are a closed group rather than facing the fact, that all it takes is a simple “Hi”. Believe me, those "closed groups" were formed by people in the exact same situation, who took this step and just joined in one night.
That’s one of the main reasons THE FIZZ added this student/tenant’s position, where a student who lives in the house calling him/herself SBM, would be responsible for the community. These positons were created to shorten the gap between the house managers and the tenants, by being the fill-in during the weekends and closed hours, by being the voice of the tenants towards THE FIZZ and vice versa, by building a healthy community and maintaining it and by organizing events and bringing the FIZZies out of their shells.
In some locations such as Bremen and Berlin, the house management and it's study helper team do a great job in being the persons of trust for the FiZZies. A StudyHelper is a tenant, who works at the reception and helps other FIZZies with their questions, inquiries and requests. This position therefore substituted the position of the SBM with a spectacular teamwork.
It sounds like too much of a job, but believe me it isn’t - It’s a fun, creativity driven job. I learned, gained and practiced a lot of skills during this job, that will come in handy in the future.
Back to the main challenge here: Pandemic, Quarantine, C-Word and social distancing. We had to call off all the events and activities in the houses, making it difficult to maintain the community. However, with the help of internet and creative house managers, study helpers and SBMs, we are trying our best to keep the spirit up and connected by offering social-distanced activities.
Following the steps of Italy and Spain, the SBMs in THE FIZZ Vienna, Frankfurt and Hannover were playing music to their Co-tenants on several occasions. In Bremen they are taking another approach by posting quick puzzles and questions in their Facebook groups. The Berlin community was active by doing challenges with the moderation of their SPIDY mascot.
It might sound like nothing, but in my opinion we all need to feel that there are other people out there living like us and that we are not alone, even if the playtime is only for a couple of minutes. Communities are important, especially during harder times like this.
If you like to keep updated with whatever is happening in our houses, follow us on Instagram @the_fizz_ , where we post and repost everything that’s going on in our FIZZ-Houses.
This blogpost wouldn’t be so beautiful without the help of @ranahajjeh