The graduating ‘Class of Covid’ – What was University like for them?
For the students attending university during the rise of Covid, they did not have the typical university experience that previous graduates can relate to. This is due to the global pandemic, Covid-19. When starting university, students believed their camera roll would be full of nights out with friends and experiencing the city, but this was not the case for the cohort of students who attended during the peak of the coronavirus. The students have had a completely unique experience that other graduates would not have had to go through. As a result of the global pandemic in 2020 students across the nation only attended a handful of in-person lectures and the rest online. This had a large impact on the students taking their final year exams in 2020 as they were online. Due to the national lockdown, a lot of students during the pandemic did not stay in the city of their university and moved back to their original homes as there was no need for them to live away from home. As a result of the exams being online, the 2020 cohort received a record high of students achieving a first, with 1 in 3 graduates receiving a first-class degree (The Guardian, 2021).
However, there have been criticisms of the 2020 cohort, with people stating they have achieved the higher grade due to unfair circumstances. As the final year exams would have been done in the comfort of their home, with notes and websites to aid them when doing exams.
What was day-to-day life like for pandemic students?
For many students at this time going outside the house was scarce due to the restrictions put in place, students spent most of their time working from their bedroom or with housemates in the kitchen or living room. Due to Covid being an unfamiliar virus the government were continuously sending out information daily, which students came across on social media. The same for most people, students are always up to date with current affairs on the internet and all they were seeing was constant bombardment of posts either stating; “Covid”, “Pandemic” or “restrictions”. Repetitively seeing these words everywhere could make the students believe they have no choice on how their day goes, leading to students feeling claustrophobic and like they are trapped between the four walls of their home. Being able to leave your home very quickly became a luxury.
From the information stated in the image it clearly demonstrates that the pandemic has mentally took a large toll on students, mainly due to the strict restrictions. With a standout figure of high level of anxiety increasing by 27.5% due to Covid.
It was not all gloom, as students made the best out of a bad situation being creative when it came to night life activities. As a result of club and bar closures, many accommodations tried to replicate the night life by having different rooms as bars, for example one room was a sports bar and the other could be a disco bar etc, to try and still live the student lifestyle.
Despite the setbacks which the ‘Class of Covid’ faced, they managed to quickly adapt to the alien environment and persevere through the challenging times and succeeded to obtain a degree and a university experience like no other.