Covid-19, Expectation and Reality: A Personal Reflection

The recent pandemic (Covid-19) has impacted education systems in universities around the world. The impact has been dramatic for institutions, academics, and students looking for workable short term solutions for online teaching and learning. The unique challenge facing higher education encouraged DEN to look for opportunities to stay in contact with students using online facilities.  Through the academic initiative, we invited students to meet and organise feasible and appropriate projects at this time. Using Inside Westminster we have agreed that students will write an article and or provide a 5 minutes video of their reflection and experience of Covid-19.  We have encouraged students from all over the world to express their stories and share them with each other, hoping that this would provide a channel not only to learn but also to engage with each other. Hence, the following articles in this section are students’ reflections/experiences of Covid-19.

There can be many ways to describe my lockdown experience but one that suits it most is ‘ever-changing’. Before the whole covid-19 pandemic, I took life for granted especially in regards to university, where sometimes I wouldn’t turn up. No one was expecting what was to come and how that would change society so drastically. It did not seem like it was real, because all of a sudden people were being told to stay in their homes and to not go outside, and the world was rapidly changing.

There were many challenges due to the pandemic, but one of them was definitely the impacts on our social lives, keeping social distancing measures, not being able to see friends or even relatives. When I saw my cousins after three months, they all got really emotional because normally we see each other every other day and all of a sudden months had gone past.

Life during lockdown has not been so bad, for the most part, I’ve been trying to pick up another language, French, and have been focusing more on my health. Hiking in the mornings around 6-7 am every day, cycling in the evenings and watching shows. One thing that also has been different is that I have reconnected with people I hadn’t spoken to in a long while and it has been nice to catch up with everyone. Something that has improved a lot during this lockdown is my cooking skills, since I have had a lot more free time, I have been able to learn different recipes and try new things.

I regret that I did not make the most of the opportunities that I was given, and that is something I will change when life begins to get back to normal. Hopefully, when things do go back to normal, I will not waste a second of any opportunities I get, such as travelling, going places, doing more things than I ever had. One thing I really do miss, other than university, friends and family is travelling, once the whole situation is better, I will be travelling more frequently and I am looking forward to that. Something that I wish I did during lockdown is read more, gain more knowledge on things that may help me in my course and even in life in general.

Mahnoor Shahid BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

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