First year of university is meant to be the perfect opportunity for you to become accustomed to life as a student and meet new friends without the same level of academic stress that second and third years face. Coronavirus has however put this life on hold and has meant that routines have suddenly fallen apart.
As a first year Politics and American studies I had just got into a routine of balancing studies, societies and my social life, feeling that I finally belonged in Nottingham after a rocky start. Second term couldn’t have gone any better and I now consider Nottingham my home more than anywhere else, yet this has suddenly been placed on halt.
I fear that all the progress I made in first year to settle into a new environment is now being eroded away
Whilst we can’t make this global pandemic go away and people are suffering so much worse than us, I fear that all the progress I made in first year to settle into a new environment is now being eroded away. It now seems that second year will be like starting all over again, as I’ll have been away from Nottingham for so long.
Sharing a house is also a rite of passage for second year students but now I feel as if I’ve hardly got to know my housemates and any connections that we built up may evaporate from being home for so long.
Of course, social media is a blessing during this time. But it simply isn’t the same as physical interaction and being away from both uni friends and those from home makes me feel decreasingly connected to each and every one of them.
I was finding work reasonably enjoyable at university, it is now becoming an everyday struggle
As I mentioned earlier, first year is meant to be largely a breeze in terms of academics as less weight is placed on end of year grades. Yet working from home brings even more challenges, as I seem to constantly lack concentration and procrastinate far more than I would do in a library environment. This in turn leads to a vicious cycle as I get frustrated with myself for not doing another work but due to this stress I find coping mechanisms that leads to even more distractions. Whilst I was finding work reasonably enjoyable at university, it is now becoming an everyday struggle which I have little to no enjoyment for.
Being at home also means that I have so much more done for me and whilst I love spending time with my mum, I find that students have no real way of maintaining the full independence they had at university. Whilst this is nice at first, it can become very restrictive. It feels as though our chains have just been released and the world is our oyster, only them for to be reimposed whilst we readjust to life at home and the rules that come with it.
I have more time to consolidate all of the work completed this year
Don’t get me wrong, however, some positives have come out of this as I have more time to consolidate all of the work completed this year without any social pressures on top of this. I’ve also been able to explore more in depth what I love the most – journalism. Whilst there’s no pressure on us to partake in this current ‘hustle’ culture, all this spare time has enabled me to advance my career prospects in a really enjoyable way. This is ultimately part of what first year is about – discovering yourself and where you want to be.
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