As a student in 2020, Covid-19 has changed the way in which students have to learn-online learning has caused us to adapt to new and sometimes very stressful circumstances. As the government changed policies and implemented stricter rules, students in Liverpool were some of the hardest to be hit. This year of university was never going to be normal, without a freshers week, new students were plunged into the unknown, having to live with a group of people you have only just met is daunting enough, never mind when you’re locked in with them.
As a 3rd year, I didn’t have the same experiences as new students starting a new course during a pandemic but it still vastly changed the way I experienced life as a student. Usually, freshers week would be in full swing with your housemates and course mates altogether getting ready for one final party before the real work starts for your graduation year.
However, due to the pandemic, this has not happened. I haven’t seen my course mates who I have been with for over 2 years since March, almost 9 months. The people who you sat in lectures with and got drunk with, you are now resigned to seeing through a little box on the screen courtesy of a Zoom lecture. The support and guidance you usually receive from the people you would consider to be some of your closest friends is highly restricted.
We were originally placed into Tier 3 until the inevitable second lockdown was announced, being so vastly different from the first lockdown. Some students decided to go straight home as did two of my housemates. However, some decided to stay and try and enjoy their final year at university; I fall into the latter category.
My housemates and I stayed over the lockdown period, but for us, as students when lockdown came into force on the 2nd of November, it felt like nothing had changed. We hadn’t been able to go out properly for weeks and whenever we did, we were in bed by 11 pm. The lockdown didn’t change our habits, we still woke up every day, sat at our desks, reconvened at dinner, had a few drinks in the evening, watched the TV and went to bed.
The student experience is not the same as it was, and my experience is largely different from a fresher, but all I know is that this isn’t what University should be at all. You expect to meet new people, make new friends, have new experiences, but right now none of this is possible.
As a final year student, I am very privileged to have already experienced university life and student life at its finest. However, seeing Concert Square, Liverpool, reduced to darkness when it would usually be full of life and noise is heart-breaking.