Looking Ahead – A University students’ thoughts on returning to study in September.


The world seems to be ever changing these days, since my last post for ProtectED in March; where I talked about adjusting to a new life in lockdown and ways of coping with being indoors for 24 hours a day, lockdown has since been lifted and life seems to have, somewhat gotten back to normal, for me anyway.

So, let’s have a catchup, after completing my second-year studies at The University of Salford during lockdown, I have officially finished second year with a grade of 2:1 one I am absolutely thrilled with but then I was left wondering, what on earth do I do with myself now?

Thankfully for me, the restaurant I work in during my holidays when I am home from university has reopen, which has been keeping me busy. It’s a strange environment with a lot of new rules to follow, but the restaurant itself is so much safer with hand sanitisers and one way systems etc. allowing both me and my team and the customers to return to a sense of normality.

Alas, the more the days of work pass, the more the return to university creeps up on me and gets closer every single day, leaving me both excited and nervous to return to my studies. I study at the University of Salford and thankfully my university have kept us updated with developments and information every week with a newsletter, one even detailing whether face to face teaching will resume which it will, something myself and fellow course mates are thrilled to hear.

I am personally feeling apprehensive and excited about returning to university in September. Everything still seems uncertain and uneasy but being able to return to education and finish my degree is something I feel quite lucky to have upcoming.

For me, a lack of face to face teaching and online classes would’ve been a major put off, I personally would’ve severely impacted my learning, I’m someone who learns by doing not by watching lectures, which has been reflected in my university grades over the past year. So, hearing the news that I will not only be able to attend university on campus, but also have access to their facilities makes me feel 10x more confident about my education.

We’ve been informed that masks and a bottle of hand sanitiser will be provided for each student at the beginning of the September term and hand sanitisers will be around campus, things that allow me to feel much more confident about returning to university, hopefully universities around the country take similar action with providing both students and teachers with valuable items like this. They’re also moving large lectures online to free up spaces for more on hand teaching and looking at seating arrangements to maintain social distancing both in the classroom and restaurants.

My biggest fear for returning to university was the different styles of teaching that could leave me feeling unprepared for graduation and job hunting, but I feel that the student’s best interests of any university are being kept a priority, alongside the safety of students and staff. It feels as if my university in particular know that both the education and the all-round student experience are just as important. Things like having access to the library and the on-campus eateries are high up on the universities list.

I think the thing that I am taking away from the last term of second year and that anyone should take away from finishing this school year is, that we did it. In a time that was so uncertain, and lives were being flipped upside down, we got through it.

I was able to submit all my assignments including practical ones during lockdown by working hard and committing to the workload provided to me. It’s been different and yes difficult but the tasks just the same, the practice we have had over the end of this year to adjust to studying and learning slightly differently to normal has students across the UK prepare for anything the next year can throw at us, here’s to the students across the UK who have worked so hard over the past 7 months and here’s to another successful school year, roll on September!

Cora can be contacted via twitter @CoraDixonMedia Linkedin profile is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cora-dixon-899935197/

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