As the year began, we all would have had some expectations for what may happen during the year 2020. Maybe passing exams and spending time out with friends. The last thing on everyone’s mind was a pandemic and yet here we are. Everyone’s experiences of this year have been the same in some ways and very different in other ways, especially when it comes to our experience of lockdown. Despite some people mentioning that these lockdowns are a time to ‘work on ourselves’ or ‘enjoy some free time’ – it’s not all that simple for most of us.
The beginning of lockdown came as a shock. I left for home on a Friday afternoon in March with the thought of what I would do on my work placement the following Tuesday, and even concerned with what might happen in the next week; little did we know then. Suddenly I found myself sat at home in what I felt was an extended summer holiday. Days continued to pass, and I’ll admit that I spent a lot of time procrastinating. University for the most part I actually found to be better at home – I could put more effort into assessments without much panic of awaiting exams. My main problem, honestly, was motivation – but with everything else on, that wasn’t much of a surprise.
I spent most of the summer indoors due to lockdown. It was filled with ups and downs, but was alright overall. As everyone in the house had to stay home, I found going for walks with my parents was nice and something I hope to continue in the future. I also found that, even though I couldn’t spend time with my friends, Animal Crossing was a great way to spend time with them without breaking any rules and was still just as fun. Personally, being indoors wasn’t a problem, but one thing I wish I did do was use that time to do the things that I enjoy, but I did learn what I was really passionate about.
Now, even though it’s a new academic year, the lockdown restrictions are still in place to a certain extent. University is still closed for many students. For me it means that all of my lectures are online as well as the assessments. Now that there has been time to consider how online schooling might work, assessments are more on track for the majority of modules. However, it is definitely not perfect. Motivation can still be an issue at times – as I’m sure it is for most students. As well as that, opportunities such as Student Union roles are more accessible for people who may not have been able to attend when they were not online which I think gives a lot more opportunity to have a say on their own university experience which is a great thing. For example, I attended a students’ forum a little while ago, which is something I never would have gone to if it had been exclusively in person.
This year has been a hard time for all of us, but it hasn’t been all bad. For some it might have given them time to try a new hobby, for others it might have enabled them to get closer to family or friends, even making new ones online. But whatever the experience, we’ve all gotten this far together. The end of lockdowns and the pandemic hopefully isn’t too far out of sight, so keep safe everyone!