What these King’s students did over lockdown
Lockdown may be over, but how did students spend their time during it?
The second national lockdown may be over, but students were one of the groups most affected. Lack of access to some university facilities, reduced social contact, and difficulty concentrating are just a few of the issues continuing to plague the student body. The King’s Tab interviewed three undergraduate students at King’s studying in London, the UK, and internationally to see how they’re coping, and what they’ve been getting up to during these strange times. Here’s what we found:
Clementine, a First-Year BioMed student
The King’s Tab spoke to Clementine regarding her experiences towards the end of the second lockdown. Clementine stayed in King’s residences at Moonraker Point this year, and her whole flat tested positive for coronavirus just the week before lockdown began. Thus, she said that lockdown “quickly became a way of life” for them. Clementine moved from Melbourne to London this year and wasn’t expecting to have to adapt to such circumstances. She went on to say: “It’s an interesting mindset to have to accept, especially when I’ve never been away from home before.”
‘I received a massive email with support, online sessions, mental health check-ins and our halls gave us a big fresh food drop.’
We asked her about the support she received from King’s and more specifically, her experience at Moonraker during her flat’s coronavirus outbreak. She mentioned she felt supported during the time she was ill and even received fresh fruit and vegetables from Moonraker. Clementine added: “They were onto it quite quickly. I received a massive email with support, online sessions, mental health check-ins and our halls gave us a big fresh food drop.”
As for how halls have been different, she mentioned that security guards patrol the corridors listening for loud music at night, and that you have to sign in and out of the building. “There are signs saying wear masks inside, but other than that it’s kind of normal,” she said.
‘I’m conscious of the fact I don’t want to be cooped up in my room all day.’
Since her recovery, Clementine has said that her focus has been on studying and keeping a healthy lifestyle. She said: “I’ve been going on walks in the mornings as I’m conscious of the fact I don’t want to be cooped up in my room all day.”
Clementine went on to say that her course is “kind of lacking in one on one help.” She believes that moving learning online has seemed to take away the personal aspect of learning, and she feels like just one of many common year one students.
When asked what she had planned for after lockdown, she told us she can’t wait to “finally be a tourist in London.”
Elsa, a first-year Political Economy student
When the King’s Tab spoke to Elsa, she was home in Sweden for the lockdown. She explained that she was glad to be in Sweden, as it was where she felt the safest and had a support network.
She said she’s been spending her time taking “lots and lots of walks, for at least an hour a day.” She went on to add that she’s been “reading books when I haven’t been able to see people.”
‘I think I am just lucky, I have friends who aren’t happy with how their department has dealt with everything.’
When asked about the support she received from King’s, she said, “Seminar leaders always check in on us at the beginning of class, and I’ve had a really positive experience with the University.” She went on to say, “I think I am just lucky, I have friends who aren’t happy with how their department has dealt with everything.”
Now that lockdown is over, Elsa looking forward to getting back into a normal routine. She has said she is excited to get back to London and take walks around St James’ park.
Abdullah, a second-year Religion, Politics and Society student
Abdullah told The King’s Tab that he’s been studying remotely for the whole of this term. He is currently living at home in Lahore, Pakistan until King’s is able to provide in-person contact hours.
He spoke about the pandemic situation in his home country: “It is getting worse here, there is the closing of indoor dining and other restrictions now, kind of similar to what London is experiencing.” Abdullah said he’s used this time to cook, get involved in charity work, and focus on his degree.
While in Pakistan, he’s also been spending time at a local horse riding school. He mentioned some positives about the pandemic, saying, “The pollution has declined a lot here in Pakistan, and people are leading healthier lives and taking up things like cycling.”
‘I still engage with the community at King’s through the society I’m part of, it is really nice to have that.’
Abdullah told The King’s Tab that he’s part of the KCL Pakistan Society. He added: “I still engage with the community at King’s through the society I’m part of, it is really nice to have that.”
The King’s Tab asked him how King’s was supporting him as a student studying remotely during this period. He said, “I think King’s should work on their deadline and examination policies. It seems unfair to have so many deadlines landing on the same day during these circumstances.”
He also spoke about the University’s fee situation, saying: “We are still paying the same fees for online classes as we would on campus, that really concerns me. I’ve spoken to many people with financial constraints, and I don’t think it is fair.”
Abdullah hopes to come back to London when the pandemic situation improves. “Even for a short time, it would be nice to see my friends again!”