My lockdown experience
Initially I was worried about studying and completing assignments at home during lockdown. This was because I did not have access to the library or face-to-face contact with lecturers in seminars. However, the university used a programme called Microsoft Teams to allow lecturers to complete online sessions. This took a little while to get used to but has been fantastic to still have those discussions with fellow students, there is even a table group function where you can break off into small discussion groups.
Once I got used to using Microsoft Teams, I found it incredibly useful and nearly all my timetabled sessions were being conducted through this programme. There is also a collaborative space where we can share ideas and placement experiences with each other, this was particularly useful for us Primary Education students because we had the opportunity to reflect on our placements in school.
During lockdown, I teamed up with two of my course mates and we created a small group where we would set goals to complete at the end of each week. Then we would meet on Teams at the beginning of the week to discuss our progress and motivate one another. We would also read each other’s essays and assignment presentations to ensure we were confident that we achieved the learning objectives. This was helpful because we would plan certain parts of work together and talk about our work which ensured we were all productive.
In terms of social life, I think that it is important to wind down and do activities other than work. So, to keep myself busy, I would bake and cook dinner for my family once a week. I also had one or two daily calls with friends which helped keep me sane! On some of these weekly calls, we did a virtual games night and did a mystery programme where we had to decode and solve the clues. I am also part of korfball club which is a sport that is a mixture of netball and basketball. To keep in touch with all our members, we ran a weekly quiz where each person in the group took it in turns to make up a quiz. This was such good fun and we even did one where the korfball alumni joined in so we had over 30 people on the quiz!
Overall, I have found lockdown a lot better than I thought it was going to be because I managed to keep connected with all my friends and family. Academically I was able to maintain productivity by forming a small group with course mates that ensured I stayed motivated. Most importantly, I have developed my baking skills which will always come in handy!