This letter comes from simple thoughts which arose from paying attention around us during these past months.
We are writing this letter to address the months of September and October, two months during which Politecnico kept its campus open to students and granted blended learning, namely, online learning and on campus. It was an astonishing fact considering other universities’ situations in Milan. The Politecnico ‘machine’ is large and complex, yet, despite this fact, this machine began working in advance to allow its students to repopulate lecture halls, to grant online learning as well as safety.
A question emerged: why? Why invest time, energy and resources so as to offer the possibility of blended learning?
So we asked ourselves, how worthy has it been for us coming to Politecnico? And how worthy is it now, this day?
Chiara: Throughout these years, I have gained greatly from going to University and not only from a learning point of view. I go to Politecnico everyday because my friends and course mates with whom I work and study are there. We eat together, we chat, we share things and we work together. I’ve almost reached my Master degree and throughout years and different courses I have had the chance to meet new people, including very different people from me, people with whom I have learned to collaborate. Within University, there’s a life which isn’t bound to lecture halls or corridors: it continues with studying, projects and helping each other, it even gets outside the University walls. I need to meet friends and people who study the same things as me because working together is more appealing. Studying becomes pleasing and topics appear more comprehensive,and lunches or breaks become a chance to realise there’s much more to studying.
Over the course of the first lockdown, I asked myself why coming to university was so valuable for me and I’ve realised I wasn’t made to be on my own, I need others: to talk, to build relationships, to confront myself with others. This way of living is really important, and when it’s not there I miss it.
Michele: “It’s been four years since I have been in Politecnico, and from September I have always benefited from the chance you’ve given us to come to University. During this time, Coming to University has been a present, although students seem to diminish every day. Throughout these weeks, going to University has allowed me to deepen some relationships with friends and the few people I meet in Bovisa daily. I’ve become good friends with the canteen’s chef Andrea, with who I’m planning to go fishing, with Daniela and Melissa, with the security guy, with Omar, the B12 cleaner, with Adi an indian guy who always studied on his own given he had little chances to meet new people since his arrival in Italy.
By talking to them, I discovered their many challenges, their complicated, yet fascinating lives, their days filled with difficulties which, thanks to my engineering soul, I’d love to solve. Then I look around and see no one, I think about my course mates in their bedrooms, I throw myself in the future, which is now near, and I ask myself ‘What if one were to spend his five college years locked in his bedroom, what problems would he see? Which complicated yet attractive lives would they intercept? We define ourselves ‘problem solvers’ yet how can one solve problems if he/she has never faced any? I thank you from the bottom of my heart because University is undergoing a great change, maybe an inevitable change, yet I am grateful for the fact that what is dear to you is that ‘going to University’ means ‘living University’
Chiara e Michele: “ We’d like to address a final point which made us curious, Politecnico has recently set off a number of renovation projects. With regards to Bovisa campus, which we both attend, the outside of B12 has been repainted, the entrance has been embellished, an artificial hill is being built, new works will set off to renovate a ground to make it a sports ground with further attractions. This shows that there’s much more being planned for the future other than learning modes which, of course, are the focal point. This is wonderful and positive, it warms our hearts to see that your vision of things takes us towards a University which can be defined alive, which must be lived by us students.
We wish to thank you for the chances you’ve given us these past months and to tell you how we spent these months and will continue to spend them. We want to be here.
Chiara e Michele