After a long awaited year and a half, the University of Nottingham returned to (mainly) in person teaching this September. But, since we all got so well adjusted to seminars in bed and socialising on Zoom, is this return to normalcy welcomed? Shivani Hindocha weighs up the pros and cons of being back in person.
As a third year student, my university experience can be summed up by two words: strikes and Covid. I started uni in September 2019 and it’s safe to say that the majority of my learning has taken place online.
my main form of entertainment during lockdown came from watching tutors struggle to work Microsoft Teams
As I’m sure most of you can relate, the online learning experience hasn’t been great. From not being able to make course mates, to getting headaches from staring at your laptop, it has been a struggle.
Although it was very frustrating to watch our £9k fees being wasted, online learning had its perks. My main form of entertainment during lockdown came from watching tutors struggle to work Microsoft Teams – they’d spend half our seminar and lecture time attempting to share their screen or persuading students to turn on their cameras and microphones.
Yes, I found that entertaining and yes, I lived a sad life during lockdown for that to be my source of amusement. But enough of the doom and gloom because online learning is in the past now- hopefully (well, for the most part anyway).
It has been wonderful to be back on campus again
September 2021 was a month that I had been waiting for, with excitement and concern, unsure if we would suddenly go back into another lockdown or whether I would finally be able to get a normal uni experience. And so far, I can safely say that the latter has come true.
It has been wonderful to be back on campus again, seeing people and being able to go to Portland Coffee, as well as having lectures in person. I don’t know about you but I’ve missed going to Hallward or George Green library and telling myself I’ll be productive, while actually spending the afternoon talking with my mates, catching up on the gossip and complaining about our modules.
It is exactly that sense of community I’ve missed; panicking and stressing about our workload together in person as opposed to by ourselves in our respective rooms. It is a well-rehearsed routine that I’m fairly certain we all have nailed at this point.
I am not enjoying the freshers-flu that EVERYONE is getting
While I have missed the intellectually stimulating in-person seminar discussions and the eye-rolling at the people who ask too many questions at the end of lectures, I am not enjoying the freshers-flu that EVERYONE is getting. But hey, I guess it’s building up our immune system again?
There is one thing that I look nostalgically back upon every time my alarm goes off for my 9ams though, and that is the ability to wake up and watch lectures and seminars in person while in your pyjamas. It was a level of comfort and warmth that I can only dream of now – especially as winter is already creeping up on us.
But, despite my complaining, being back to learning in person on campus these past first few weeks of term has been great. Having to balance socialising and uni work as well as extracurriculars and hobbies again is an ongoing adjustment but, for me, is a small price to pay to be able to be back on campus and connect with people once again.
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