It’s OK to feel however you feel right now
I think we can all agree that these are really difficult times for everyone, especially university students. Having been away from university for a few weeks now, I thought I’d reflect on some of my nagging thoughts and troubles regarding COVID19 and my academic life.
1. The fear of not achieving what I could have
When I found out that exams were to be replaced with alternative assessments online, the first worry I had was ‘What if I cannot achieve what I did last year because of these different assessments?’. Many people thrive in exams in a different way to assessments, because having a time limit in which one can display their hard-revised knowledge results in better marks than an ongoing, arguably more stressful essay, for example. Thinking about this really started getting to me and was made worse by the fact that being at home really isn’t ideal for revision. Last year we had the reassurance that after the Easter break, we could return to an environment ideal for revising in. When that guarantee is removed, our sense of stability can rapidly decline.
However, the other day, as you might have read in the student newsletter, the ‘safety net’ policy was introduced for Warwick students. This means that our average grade attained so far this year will be a safety net, in which we can only improve on, or stay the same in exams. Basically, our current grade cannot be lowered when this is introduced. This has definitely reassured me, as our hard work will not suffer from disappointing exam results, meaning what revision can be done, can be done in a less stressful manner.
2. Feeling disheartened due to cancelled events
Many people have had plans for term 3 and beyond, including trips abroad, myself included. A large 7-week trip that I had planned for summer has recently been cancelled. While I expected this, receiving the confirmation that it had been cancelled made me feel really down. Suddenly, we’re faced with who knows how many months ahead of us with seemingly little to do to pass the time- especially when the academic year is over.
But what helps me to stay grounded is that EVERYONE is in the same situation. Many people’s plans would have been cancelled, with everyone feeling equally as disheartened as me. It is useful to remember, however, that these plans CAN be rescheduled, just for a time when it is safe to go out and do all those things.
3. Worried about the impacts of being away from university life
Don’t get me wrong, I love being at home for a break from some aspects of uni life – it’s nice to see my family, to sleep in my own bedroom and (usually) to catch up with old friends. However, not knowing when I can return to university is definitely worrying me. At university there’s a huge element of independence, which does kind of take a back seat when you’re home. Living with friends is an amazing experience, so not knowing when this can happen again is definitely upsetting.
However, being at home does not mean you have to disconnect from friends. So far, I’ve video called my housemates as well as other uni friends, where we played games and had a few drinks. Definitely try and stay connected, it really boosted my mood.
I hope that, by reading this you have realised that we are never alone in this process!