Chucking pints and 2m apart at Chalk: our suggestions for a socially distanced Sussex

Two metres away is the place to stay

As life in lockdown approaches its tenth week, students around the country have become increasingly concerned as to the future of their education and the social lives that go with it. With most graduation ceremonies put on hold, years abroad postponed and deadlines extended, summer seems like it will last a lifetime and September feels miles away.

Today, Sussex announced their plans for the the ext term of university education and the laws surrounding social distancing have left huge questions on students’ minds about what uni life will be like come the new year. If, like many others, you long for the good ol’ days of snoozing through packed lecture halls and partying your nights away with your only concern being the hangover the next morning, then read on for our suggestions for a socially distanced Sussex.

Morning lectures are still just as tiresome and bikes become the new necessity

Much like before the whole COVID-19 thing, you roll out of bed knowing that in order to make your 9am you simply have to get up. No easier than before, but no harder either.

ten more minutes mum

Toast in hand you grab your mask and head to the nearest bus stop or train station. You can see the queue from a mile away and, now that only 10 people are allowed per carriage, you wish you took up your dads offer of that old bike from the garden shed. If you thought getting the 25 was a nightmare before the pandemic then congratulations, it’s just got worse.

Your lectures are split between online and face-to-face but you can never remember which is which

When you actually have in-person lectures, you sit three seats apart from your course-mates and have the usual chit-chat about who’s shaved their heads and who’s banana bread recipe is superior to all. Of course, the lecturer speaks at double speed so they can fit in teaching everyone when only half can fit in the lecture hall but, like usual, you stare aimlessly towards the front knowing that the slides will be online and you can catch up later.

Still, you could have it worse – the poor biology students are dissecting virtual mice on their iPads and the music students are doing band rehearsals via Zoom – it just doesn’t sound the same when there’s a three second delay and no-one can hear each other properly.

The library has a one way system and is quieter than ever

Lectures complete, you head to your usual study hub of the library. With the new one way system that’s been introduced, you have to know exactly where the book you’re looking for is shelved because if you miss it, you’re going to have to go round again.

You bask in the quietness – with social distancing laws in place there are no more noisy groups nattering about who kissed who last night and instead you work productively for hours on end. No one comes up to distract you and you manage to smash out that essay that you’ve been meaning to do for weeks. Nice one.

2m distance must be kept at all clubs

It’s a known fact that the UK’s student population is more than susceptible to a drink, especially when strobes and dancing are  involved. Knowing that the clubs are limiting entry, your house bought their tickets months ago to ensure that everyone could come and it’s set to be a good un.

You get ready before predrinks, making sure to match your mandatory mask to your outfit, and take an Uber to the club where you stand in the marked out squares on the floor in small groups. How wonderful that no creepy men dance with you, or drunk freshers fall into you! Maybe you can get used to this.

matchy matchy

You order at the bar behind plastic screens, with the barmen throwing you your lidded drink to avoid hand-to-hand contact.  You notice the posters on the wall: any kissing of or dancing with strangers lands you a fate worse than death – banned for life. At least it saves you from some choices you’ll definitely regret in the morning.

You buy more takeaways than ever before

Despite your socially-distanced clubbing experience, the hangover is no less debilitating and, if anything, you’ve spent more on drinks than you usually would as going out is now a special occasion. Just thinking about queuing for the supermarket makes you feel queasy, so you opt for a contact-free takeaway instead. At least the Deliveroo driver doesn’t see how much of a mess you really look up close.

seems legit

This new lifestyle will certainly take a little while to get used to. Whether uni goes back to normal in September or not, remember that two metres away is the place to stay.