What was the first month of uni really like during a pandemic? An interview with a UoN fresher

This year is like never before

With the first half term of this academic year complete, freshers are now settling into university life. Despite a new national lockdown and previous government restrictions regarding Nottingham’s move into Tier 3, the first month of uni wasn’t all bad.

Many nightclubs in the city decided to run sit-down sessions, and bars and restaurants continued to operate under strict guidelines, as well as official university sporting events still being permitted.

The Tab Notts spoke to Josh Field, a UoN fresher studying Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine who lives in Ancaster Hall to see what the first half term of university was really like during a global pandemic.

What has going out been like?

“Going out was nowhere near as enjoyable. Crisis sessions did not feel like clubbing due to the strict measures put in place, and fresher’s events were kept to a minimum. Online events were to difficult to enjoy as it was a struggle to properly interact with others.”

Have you been able to meet new people?

“It’s been great meeting new friends in my hall, but nobody has been able to make any friends form their courses due to most learning being online with very few, if any, face-to-face sessions. I have only had one in-person tutorial and it was great to finally meet some people from my course.”

How has corona impacted being in halls?

“Being stuck in halls all the time really helps you get closer to new people, so if I did feel homesick or anxious, I know my hall friends well enough by now that they will be able to help me feel better. However, it is frustrating when my friends who are not in my household ‘bubble’ have had to self-isolate, as it can often feel quite lonely when this happens.”

Have you managed to join any sports clubs or societies?

“Since coming to uni, I have taken part in IMS football which is great fun, as well as UoN American Football which has been excellent and really well organised. Luckily, sports have been able to continue which has been a great experience for me.”

Ancaster IMS football team

What has general life in halls been like?

“Life in halls has been good. The university security have been kind and understanding to us, which goes a long way in the current challenges we are facing amidst the pandemic. The food has been okay, but our rooms are not being cleaned because of current guidelines, so we have to maintain our room cleanliness now, unfortunately.”

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