Corona: How I’ve Found Uni. So Far
If you had told me I’d be receiving my graduation certificate in the post back when I was 18, I probably wouldn’t believe you. I certainly wouldn’t believe it be due to a pandemic. I feel ever so lucky that I got to enjoy the first year and a half of uni. like a ‘normal’ student, because when this virus hit, things changed completely.
Online exams were a funny experience, but I quite liked the ease of doing them from the comfort of my own home as I could sip a nice cup of tea whilst typing out my answers! Fast forward to the start of third year, lectures were online and the only time I had to be on campus was for labs. I was still very nervous to drive up to uni. and do an experiment in a room full of students, but the safety precautions in place were fantastic. About halfway through I’d entirely forgotten about the situation we’re in and found myself lost in my work.
I’ve been living at home this past year because of the pandemic so like everyone else, I’ve been balancing my studies with helping around the house. For those wondering, my modules this year are Modern Approaches to Human Disease, World Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Extreme Environmental Biology, Science Communication, Medical Virology and Principles of Development. Luckily these have been well distributed across both terms, so the workload has been consistent. Obviously, there are some modules I prefer more than others, but I have found there are a few pros and cons to this online learning.
I have enjoyed being in charge of when I do my lectures. I quite like getting them done quickly so I don’t fall behind, but I know if I have other commitments/duties, I can adapt my schedule and do the lectures the next day. I also enjoy the extra time in bed as I don’t have to travel in to uni.!
For me, the biggest issue I’ve found with online learning is that the length of lectures is so variable, and unfortunately lecturers prefer to run on rather than keep it short. I had one lecturer who apologised for overrunning as the lecture was 1 hour 20 mins, but then his next lecture was a solid 2 hours. Other lecturers consistently release single lecturers which are 1 hour 30 mins. For those of you who don’t know, in the lecture theatre, lectures are 50 minutes. It was rare for them to be 1 hour. If the lecture is interesting, I don’t mind too much and I feel equally bad for the lecturer as it’s taking up their time too! However, I’m not too appreciative of the fact it happens so frequently.
Moreover, you’re pretty isolated at home as you don’t get to see your friends in lectures. Although I enjoy deciding when I do my lectures, I do sometimes find I push them aside because of the lack of time constraints.
Despite the negatives, I’d much rather be sat at home, learning online to a DIY schedule and video calling my mates rather than lying six feet under.