Can we meet in the lecture hall in autumn? 

Dear current and future fellow students, 

Vaccination is currently the only way to defeat the pandemic and experience a fulfilling study period and student life. 

The beginning of the new academic year is a little less than a month away. The desire to finally return to the normal rhythm of life is strong, but the fear that the pandemic is not at all behind us is just as strong. While we have been pushed around by Covid-19 during the past three semesters, we can now contribute to making the new wave as mild as possible. All current students have first-hand experience of the devastating effect of long isolation on motivation and mental health. Therefore, as president of the University of Tartu Student Union, I ask you to get vaccinated today or at least this week to protect yourself, your loved ones, fellow students and lecturers without delay. 

Undoubtedly, the circumstances have made current students quite skilled in blended learning, but these solutions are inevitably monotonous. It is often said that university years are the best time in a person’s life, but the saying is certainly not about sitting in online lectures. Only by being together in one room can you really get to know another person, build relationships of trust and be inspired by each other’s ideas. As students, the development of our professional network depends directly on the possibility of being present at the university. 

Student life would be poor without the dozens of student organisations that fill the social calendar with a versatile cultural programme and food for the soul each academic year. For us learners, these organisations are the opportunity to work on practical skills in a secure environment, find new acquaintances across faculties and levels of study, and contribute to something bigger and longer-lasting than we ourselves. Vaccination gives access to this exciting world and allows student organisations to survive and thrive. 

In all ages, students have had the dilemma of whether to devote themselves to studies or to go to the barricades to fight social problems. So far, our greatest heroic act has been sitting at home. Now, however, we can finally do something – go get vaccinated and encourage your hesitant course mate or fellow in a student organisation to do the same. 

Vaccination is a feasible step for everyone and has a strong and long-term impact. By vaccination, we not only increase the hope of enjoying fun student life but also ensure that Tartu remains a unique student city for the next generations of students. 

So, please go get vaccinated!

See the list of places where you can get the vaccine without prior booking as well as pharmacies and vaccination centres where prior booking is needed.  

Come shoulder your duty, so we could soon meet in the lecture hall! 

Katariina Sofia Päts
President of the University of Tartu Student Union