What can you expect to experience at university with the world in the current post lockdown, mid pandemic mess that is the country at the moment?
This is hard to truly predict how you will feel personally, but there are a few definites you can rely on knowing in advance.
Will you need to be vaccinated? In short, no.
You will not be denied access to university if you have not been jabbed.
However, the government strongly recommends for uni students to get their vaccinations, preferably both if possible, before going back to university this month.
They have even placed on-site vaccination centres across many universities over the country.
In person classes? Yes and No.
This depends mostly on the university itself. Make sure to check your university’s updates to ensure you have the most reliable news for your course.
Generally though, across the country there will be a lot more face to face learning which would not have been available the last year and a half.
Seminars and lectures with smaller groups of students are most likely to be taught in person to keep too many people from being in the same room for the length of the class.
You may also have to wear a face mask in these situations and probably libraries depending on university policies.
From somebody who was in her final year of university, dissertation looming over me, when the first lockdown had hit - lecturers are passionate about their work and whether your class is online or in person, the quality of your lesson will not be any worse.
I know my only issue with the lockdown affecting my learning was due to the libraries having to close and I did not have access to all of the books I needed easily. This is no longer the case as the libraries are now allowed to be open so you have the same access to books and resources as you would have done pre-pandemic.
This is a topic which might sound unimportant in the grand scheme of things but I know that socialising is one of the key aspects of university life that people look forward to. Some time away from the stress of moving out of your home and beginning a degree.
Freshers Week is being reintroduced to universities in an in-person capacity, which was unable to be done last year in the midst of lockdowns and the pandemic generally.
Experts do warn us that holding Freshers Week in this way again may risk it becoming a ‘super spreader’ event, this is particularly more likely when alcohol is involved.
If your university is holding in-person freshers, maybe just try to be conscious of your proximity to other people if possible… Also maybe no sharing drinks, take this advice from someone who caught freshers flu a few times too many!
Mental Health Concerns?
According to Student Minds 74% of students stated that Covid-19 had a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing.
They also found that two thirds of students said they have ‘often felt isolated or lonely since March 2020’.
This is obviously not a great statistic for new students, it does not inspire much faith. However, companies like Student Minds and also The National Union of Students are trying to get the government to provide financial support for students (especially those from lower income families) and to prioritise support for mental health.