The new normal: a Cardiff student’s average week during covid
you sit, you chat, you order a pint off the app
The week of a student has changed drastically this year. You rarely see a VK anymore, you see your lecturers even less, and you spend a LOT more time in your bedroom. And no, it’s not because you’re getting lucky because really, no one is right now. Here’s how the average Cardiff student’s new and un-improved week goes…
Monday to Friday all blurs into one tbh
Monday to Friday is basically groundhog day. There’s so many rules now that you struggle to achieve any level of spontaneity anymore. Leave by 10pm, don’t see friends, don’t exercise with others, go everywhere alone. Instead of having the devil on your shoulder, now it feels like you’ve got Boris on one and your mum on the other, chastising every single move.
You spend the whole week in pj’s
Firstly, you wake up, obviously. You get out of bed, take off those pj’s and hop in the shower, only to put a different pair of pj’s right back on. If you’re feeling a little extra that day, you might adorn what we call ‘loungewear’: the glorified pyjama. You know, the type you can get away with wearing in public without Karen’s staring you down. Next you head downstairs for some brekky and a cuppa, returning to your room ready for the online lecture torture to begin.
For the athletic ones, you’ll delay the showering step so that you can go to the gym or run around Roath lake. Quite frankly, we salute you. But you’ll be back in those pj’s before you know it, you’re just like the rest of us really.
Online lectures are the new norm
You’re all fed and watered, and head to your new lecture hall at the University of Zoom. Slippers on, coffee at the ready, you open up your laptop and reluctantly peel the cover off your camera. Because honestly, who enjoys being on camera in a Zoom lecture? You brace yourself for the next few hours of awkwardly twiddling your thumbs, waiting for someone to answer the lecturers question, but no one does. You sit in anticipation, hoping that someone forgets to mute themselves and has an argument with a housemate, starts undressing, or farts. And yes, farting is still hilarious apparently.
Ah yes, the part of the day you’ve been waiting for – a chance to escape your new lecture hall and sink a few pints with your mates. You sit, you chat, you order a pint off the app, and you scan the QR code just to let Boris know that you’re safe and sound. Oh, and your exact location so he can send you that dreaded “you’ve been into contact” text. Although I’m sure for many it’s not a first. I thought I’d come to uni to escape my mum, but it seems not.
The moment that first cold sip hits your lips, the last few hours of torture become a blur. You’re finally where you need to be, in the Mac where you belong. 10pm looms ever closer, so you panic order another pint in the hope that they let you stay past ten. Sometimes, they do. You’re feeling a little tipsy, it’s time to go home.
Ahhh some sort of variation
You’re leaving the pub and it’s time to make a plan. This is the first point where students actually do things differently to one another. Firstly, you’ve got the chillers. They stroll home together to crack open a few more cold ones, drinking and chatting the night away. Next is the pub-crawlers, who’ve decided that one pub certainly wasn’t sufficient, and decide to have a house pub-crawl to compensate. Each room has a different theme and a different drink, you know the score.
Then you’ve got the house-partiers, you know, the ones who decide that 10pm is quite frankly a JOKE and they won’t succumb to this nonsense at any cost. They invite the tables next to them back to theirs for a night-long sesh. The speakers are on, the shots are flowing, and someone’s being sick in the toilet. Then, of course, there’s that one person who jumps at the sound of every door opening and closing, thinking it’s the police.
Lastly, it’s the bed-timers. The three pints they had at the pub left them feeling quite satisfied, so they pop those pj’s back on, yes more pj’s, grab snacks and tuck themselves in for a night of Netflix (and probably not chill).
Saturday is bottomless brunch day
You used to spend your Saturdays quite differently last year. The first half was spent hungover, either being sick or feeling sorry for yourself and your thumping headache. The second half was spent preparing yourself for a big SU night out. A VK in hand, your grossest shoes on foot, and a big fat smile on your face.
Instead, you wake up refreshed and revitalised because you didn’t go out the night before. Simply because there is nowhere to go. You spend the morning dolling yourself up for a day of cocktails and french toast. And no, the dress code does not follow the bottomless theme, Dirty Martini really isn’t that dirty.
You’re ready to go, in your Saturday best. For the girls, it’s a dress and heels kinda job, and for the boys, there’s always a shirt and loafers involved. You spend the day so drunk you can barely see, chatting away, with a tummy full of grub, drinking as much as your liver will allow just to get value for money. And the best part is, your feet aren’t even hurting because you’ve been sitting down the entire time.
If you’re the more adventurous type, you’ll switch it up and spend the day at Depot’s Oktoberfest, sporting your sluttiest German dress, ready for a stein or ten. You’re dancing on the tables singing Sweet Caroline, and you’ve forgotten all about covid. That is, until you get stared down by a waitress, thinking they’re admiring your nice new outfit, when really they’re just thinking how long it is until they can kick you out for fraternizing with the table next to you. Tut tut.
Sunday’s are for park walks and coffees
Oh how Sunday’s have changed. Last year, Sunday’s were a day of rest, recovering from the overconsumption of VK’s the night before. No more rushing into the kitchen to discuss last night’s goss, now you wake up bright and breezy because bottomless brunch finished so early, it’s frankly impossible to be hungover.
You choose your victim, Roath or Bute park. You stroll through the concrete jungle that is Cathays into what seems like another world, the green sunny world which students only get to be a part of on a Sunday. Bin bags still intact, non-dodgy looking people, dogs playing fetch, and a whole bunch of greenery. You head to your independent café of choice, sporting your North Face puffa of course, grab a coffee and stroll around the park. Who knew students could be so wholesome?