September is fast-approaching – and so is the start of another university year. However, this is not just any other year. It’s this year – which means that the university experience will come with all that 2020 entails.
To make the transition from what used to be a social haven, to what will be a social experiment smoother, here’s a guide of what to expect once university kicks off again:
Plan your time wisely
Movement throughout the university spaces will be stricter. There is ambition to set up a “pedestrian traffic management system” across campus, using signage, dedicated entrances and exits.
As social distancing will also need to be kept, this will most likely result in congested corridors. Time optimists and pessimists alike may thus have to be more attentive to their routes around campus, with risk of otherwise being late – for just about everything.
Dirty days are long gone
The main buildings, including the library will be open to the public – with added cleaning materials, hand sanitising stations and a rigorous cleaning routine in place.
For all clean-freaks, litterbugs or all-around average joe’s out there, this adjustment should come as a positive additive. Sparkly clean spaces, free access to hand sanitisers and no overfull garbage bins.
Feeling sick? Better kick (it)
There is also information on the university’s website stating that temperatures will be checked at the entrances of the main building.
Since this testing will not be able to separate one type of fever from another, if you’re feeling under the weather: stay wrapped up in bed and put the kettle on. Tea is the answer to everything. Literally.
However, make sure to keep in touch with your faculty administrator, student advisor or line manager. That way you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings resulting in capped grades. Talking from experience…
Less restricted; more responsibility
Practically all lectures to large groups on campus will be replaced with online teaching. This means no more awkward squeezing in an overcrowded lecture hall, with insufficient legroom and hard-backed seats.
However, this approach requires a great deal of self-organization, motivation and dedication. You will need to check in with yourself, making sure you keep up with the weekly content and engage with the material in an appropriate manner.
If done right, this type of leaning could be the new way forward, as it allows each individual to proper in their own way. If done wrong, this could end in a disasterous year for the university, in terms of average grades achieved.
It’s a plan, batman
With less strictly scheduled classes, you will be able to work around your university schedule at more ease than previous years. Whether it’s work, friends or gardening, fitting uni-work around your spare time activity of choice, will be easier than ever before.
Again, if you do plan on getting decent grades, make sure you fit enough study time in there. Checking in with your personal tutors and making use of the one-on-one teaching will make that task a whole lot easier.
Likewise, engaging in group activities online will get you out of your own head and into the minds of your peers – which might come as a thankful break.
Laptop library and no bribery
With so much teaching relying on internet access, it is lucky that free WiFi is featured across the campus. If you’re having trouble setting it up, just head into the library and ask one of the WiFi-wizards for help: they’re level with Hermione.
Money is something many students don’t see much of during their years of university. That’s where the university’s new feature, of short-loan laptops, comes in handy.
Located on level 2 of the library, you can now find laptops available to borrow for up to 4 hours at a time – completely free. If returned late however, fines will be handed out – so it’s simultaneously a free class in time management.
Previous years, there has been plenty of debate surrounding the low number of busses running between the university and town. With regards to social distancing rules, this is likely to become an ever bigger issue.
Maybe the wisest thing to do in this situation, is thus to invest in a sturdy bike, or tie on your runners for a daily hike.
As of now, the nightclubs will remain closed once university kicks off. This means that freshers and seniors alike won’t experience the fantastic Fubar or dreamy Dusk for a while.
Whether that is a loss or quite the opposite, is up to each to decide for themselves. Local barowners may vow for the latter as crowds are likely to build up outside their venues instead.
Meeting new people
What is normally one of the main highlights of university life, is all the new friends and interesting characters you meet on a daily basis. Due to the plentiful of restrictions in place, along with teaching moving mostly online, the social aspect of university-life may become harder to access.
Proactively seeking out ways to connect with others will be pivotal for your social life, especially for a first year student. One such, is the university’s online student life calendar with events ranging from online fitness classes, to online quizzes, movie nights and wellbeing workshops.
It is safe to say this year will differ from previous ones, in more ways than these. However, that is not to say the difference must be for the worse. This may even prove to be the best year to count – so let’s aim high, stay safe and give thy neighbour an elbow-bump-handshake.
Cover photo: Pixabay