End of First Term Reflection
This term has been quite different for everyone. I’m sure that if someone told us five years ago that we wouldn’t be partying, attending lectures and seeing our course mates in person, a lot of us would not have even bothered applying to university. Unlike the vast majority, I must say that I have found my educational and living experience to be 100x better than it was last year. Every situation has its pros and cons, but the pros have outweighed the cons for me this term. These are the main reasons why…
• Online lectures
As a Sociology student, I never had access to lecture recap or recorded lectures before this year. This meant that if I missed a lecture, there was no chance of me hearing the content again. Of course, there was always the option of asking my peers for their notes, but nothing quite compares to listening to the real thing. A lot of the time what you think is relevant might not be so important to someone else when they are making their notes. That is why I prefer to make all of my notes by myself. This term, I finally got to experience lectures from the comfort of my own home. I think that this has benefitted my learning experience. Last year, I would try to get down as much as I could, but I would still miss out on important information. Now that my lectures are pre-recorded, I can rewind as many times as I want and slow the recording down to ensure that I can fully grasp everything that my lecturers are saying. I have definitely been able to get a more in-depth understanding of the subject matters because of this.
• Living situation
This term, I have been living by myself in a studio flat and it is the best decision that I could have made. I don’t have to worry about my housemates leaving the kitchen in a mess, there aren’t any fallouts and I get time to myself. I’ve learnt how to cook so many different meals (first year me would be so proud) and I’ve turned into a cleaning freak. I’m not even joking – I literally clean the kitchen like twice a day. I know a big fear for a lot of people is the lack of socialising, but this hasn’t been a problem. You’re allowed to form a bubble with someone else and I speak with my friends regularly so there are several opportunities to interact if I feel lonely.
Now I did say that the pros outweigh the cons, but you’re probably wondering what I’ve disliked about this term. I would say that the biggest con has been…
• Online seminars
You win some and you lose some. In the case of seminars, they have definitely been losing. I have found them to be quite challenging because they require more effort from everybody to make the sessions interactive. Everyone’s hesitant to turn on their cameras and mics to contribute, so a lot of the time you’re left sitting in awkward silences because the seminar tutors have run out of ways to try and convince the group to say something. One of my seminar tutors literally would not move on to another question until someone contributed. She didn’t care if it meant that we were silent for one minute, or five. She was not budging. The tactic was successful though. Long periods of awkward silences have a way of forcing you to speak up. Hopefully next term there is more interaction though. I think there will be now that we’ve all become more accustomed to this new way of learning.
If you have any questions to ask, please feel free to message me 🙂