‘Crafting, wine, and Hozier’: Here’s what Lancs students have been doing during the strikes

We’re really not used to all this free time

The strikes this term have left us all with a lot more free time than we are used to. With this comes a big question: what do we do with all the free time? Sure, we all probably have coursework to do and exams to prepare for, but is that really what we want to spend our unanticipated free time doing? I think not.

This is what Lancs students have really been up to whilst the strikes have been happening.

“So far it involves lots of crafting, wine, and Hozier”

Relatable. Some students like Beth, a second year from Lonsdale, have spent the time during strikes away from Lancaster. Her flatmate has a caravan in west Wales, and so her and her friends “thought why not go before we start preparing for exams”, and honestly, we can’t blame you. With most students having little to no contact hours during strikes, there is little point staying in accommodation when you can go somewhere else for a little trip in the meantime.

Sometimes, a nice bit of relaxation before the reality of exams sets in is exactly what you need. So long as you get all your work done, a little trip away can’t hurt.

“Went to visit my friend at Cardiff Uni for the weekend”

Another trip out of Lancaster, it seems many students are taking the opportunity to visit their friends in other parts of the country too. Lauren, a second year Bowland student, says “basically with all the strikes me and my friends went to visit my friend at Cardiff Uni for the weekend, slept on the floor the entire time, went out around Cardiff, went to Swiftaggedon, and also ran into the Tik Toker Elphaba outside Taco Bell.”

This sounds like a very eventful weekend, and whilst sleeping on the floor doesn’t sound like the most comfortable experience, sometimes the quality time with friends is worth it. We hope you had fun.

“Using the strike times to get through my coursework”

If only we could all be this organised. “I’ve been using the strike times to get through my coursework, so I have more time to rest in the holidays” says Harry, a second year Bowland student. Using the extra time to get actual work done is something I think we all wish we had done now that deadlines are looming, so we applaud your willpower.

He follows up saying “I’ve also been Wednesday strike days having a lie in and watching The Mandalorian on Disney+.” After all the extra work you seem to have put into your coursework, you definitely deserve all the lie ins you want.

“With lecturers striking I get to take time off to do their work, work on my mental health, and productivity”

Yet another dedicated student who is putting their free time to good use. Usually, this third year student from Furness has days that are “always packed with lectures and coursework and all my other responsibilities”, and we get the struggle. For many, the strikes have given us a bit of a reprieve from our busy schedules to feel like we can get on top of everything. The strikes have allowed this student to “just take my time where normally I would be rushing to get things done”.

They add “it also means I can support my lecturers as they strike for better pay”. It is great to see students supporting not only themselves but also their lecturers during the strikes, and taking advantage of their free time to make sure everything gets done.

“Struggling with dissertation”

Dissertations: the bane of every student’s university experience. A third year Pendle student says that they “just struggle because our dissertations are due next Friday but obviously we can’t get in contact with our supervisors”. It is true that dissertation supervisors can be of big help in the final stages of your writing, and it is unfortunate that the strikes mean that a lot of people don’t have access to them anymore. At least you know that everyone is in the same boat, and hopefully some good will come from the strikes.

“Went on a three week holiday”

To be honest, we don’t blame you. “I realised that I wouldn’t have anything for three weeks because of how my timetable is structured, so I went to visit my friend who lives outside of the UK for a few weeks” says one third year student from Bowland. What better way to spend your time that taking a little trip abroad?

“I still had work to do but it just felt so much better to do it whilst on holiday than whilst stuck in Lancaster” they added. Sometimes, the distractions of your room and everyday life in Lancaster can feel like a bit of a drain on your productivity, so good on you for trying something different. So long as it worked, we don’t see the harm in it.

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