‘We are the future, we matter’: Lincoln students react to the lockdown announcement

‘We’ve been left behind in this pandemic and it needs to change’

Last night, Boris Johnson addressed the nation and placed us into a national lockdown, and university students have been told to stay away until ‘at least mid-Feb’. A return to campus for university students was previously set out for January 25. However, this is no longer the case as England faces its third lockdown.

Students who study medicine, education, and other practical courses are allowed to return to their university. However, other students are being told to stay wherever they are and to start their term online.

The government has warned students about travelling back and forth between their permanent home and student home. More information on this can be found on the government website.

After the announcement and lack of clarity on what university students can do, many students voiced their opinions on social media about their frustrations.

The Lincoln Tab spoke to different students, studying both at the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University on their opinions on the national lockdown being enforced and the effect it may place on their studies.

‘I just wish this had all been handled correctly from the get-go’

A first year said: “I don’t mind being in lockdown, I just wish this had all been handled correctly from the get-go. If we’d shut down, closed borders, enforced masks in March, we probably wouldn’t be where we are now. It’s frustrating watching Boris fumble his way through U-turn after U-turn. Even when he eventually makes good decisions (like putting us in a national lockdown again), he is never clear.

“University students don’t know what’s happening. I work a lot better when I’m actually going onto campus. So not having seminars in person is going to be an issue for me. Especially considering that my course is 100 per cent coursework. I moved back to Lincoln this weekend and my flatmates haven’t yet, so I’m stuck here alone.

“I’m angry at how poorly handled it was, I’m glad not to be stuck at home, but worried that my mental health will take a drop because of being alone for so long.”

‘I’m annoyed about the way uni students are being mistreated’

Another student said: “I understand the need to have a lockdown but I’m just annoyed about the way uni students are being mistreated right now and ignored and just blamed for the spread. We were told we would have a blended learning experience only for that to change to fully online so now I have an apartment that I do not sleep in but still have to pay rent for.

“I have four assignments to do without the necessary resources because I can’t travel to my term time address since we have been told to stay at home. It feels like the government doesn’t care about us and just wants our money. We are the future, we matter.”

‘I have mixed feelings’

A Classics student said: “I have mixed feelings, obviously lockdown is needed but I can’t help but feel seriously annoyed about it. I was meant to be coming back to Lincoln this week, so the timing is annoying. My main worry is my assessments. I have limited resources at home because our local library is obviously shut, even if it was open, it’s tiny and wouldn’t have the scope of resources I would be able to use at uni.

“I really wanted to be back in Lincoln before they introduced another lockdown, being home for another one isn’t ideal for me personally, my house is very loud and not the best place to do online lectures and assessments. I was hoping there would be a way I could come back to Lincoln, but it’s unlikely.”

‘Uni has been completely disregarded’

Another student told The Lincoln Tab: “I feel like the lockdown is something that we have to do as a country. I just feel like uni has been completely disregarded by the government. No one knows where we stand.”

‘I’m happy we are in lockdown’

A second year university student said: “I’m happy we are in lockdown again because then it will slow down the cases and deaths of people. However, Boris needs to put us into an utter lockdown. No takeaways, nothing. Just a few shops open, have mass vaccination services 24/7 so those who work as critical workers can also have the vaccine.

“It is so hard, my WiFi is awful. I am so stressed and it’s hard to keep up with uni work.”

‘We’ve been left behind’

A Law student said: “We still don’t know what is going on and it is damaging to students’ learning and our mental health. We’ve been left behind in this pandemic and it needs to change.