Week seven of university online and cabin fever is on the up. I’m a full time Information and Library Science student at the University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde shut down and moved all teaching online one week before the official government lockdown started. Now, at the end of the semester with no more classes but many looming assignment deadlines, I miss the library, computer labs and classrooms I had on offer to separate my study space from my home.
The first few days of this strange new life went as predicted for a student. But after an early spell devouring all the food in the freezer and playing the Sims 4 till my eyes were square, I realised that life goes on, work does not stop, and that all those hard working people on the front line are not risking their health for people like me to have a stressful, procrastinating type of ‘holiday’.
Since those initial messy days, I’ve tried to keep on top of university coursework, call classmates often, exercise and stay positive. It is all we can do. Our university has responded so well in light of COVID-19, immediately offering video classes followed by live online sport sessions, a mental health and wellbeing Instagram takeover, Online CBT and more. Any students currently struggling should check out the services their university offers, it really does make you feel more supported and connected.
I make the most of my one outing a day by going for a ‘phone call run’, where myself and a friend run ‘together’ by chatting on the phone as we go. You get used to strangers staring at you for laughing at a joke seemingly alone, and it probably helps your body practice running on less oxygen anyway. I have seen more of Glasgow than I ever would have since starting to run, and I appreciate it so much more now that stepping outside feels like a special treat.
To any students, the best thing to do right now is keep busy and don’t binge Netflix. Deep clean your oven, bake something flourless, go walking, take pictures, anything! Taking advantage of the great online resources available to stay productive, along with keeping active, has helped me curb stress, work better and appreciate all the key workers who don’t have the option of sitting at home in PJs all day. Stay inside, stay happy, and stay busy!
Featured image by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.