Hopes of a Covid-free year at university

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By Elin Alexander, Second Year, Social Policy with Politics

The Croft Magazine // Many students’ entire university experience has been defined by the pandemic. Elin shares her hopes for a new academic year, hopefully without so much disruption and difficulty.

Since starting university in 2019, I’ve yet to experience a completely COVID-free year here.

Having been sent home early in the second term due to lockdown, with the promise of a long Easter holiday and then back for a Bristol summer, I feel like I’ve been robbed of a big part of my university experience.

'Being confined to your seat isn’t exactly my idea of the ideal pub social' | Epigram / Elin Alexander

Despite this, I started this year with the intention of making the most of the situation by very optimistically thinking I’d be joining more societies, making use of pubs and beer gardens, as well as taking every opportunity to meet as many new people as possible under the circumstances.

I think I maybe made it to one lacrosse practice before the third lockdown kicked in and we were all forced into a life where the best part of our day is the trip to big Sainsbury’s. It hasn’t quite been the wild university experience I imagined; however, it also hasn’t been the worst as I’ve been blessed with very good company.

With all this in mind and the promise of normality returning on June 21st, I can’t help wondering what my third and final year at university will be like. The return of a normal night of clubbing seems a whole world away but I am so ready for it. The need to dance on a sticky dancefloor, surrounded by a bunch of strangers spilling their drinks on you while you return the favour, is overwhelming.

'The return of a normal night of clubbing seems a whole world away but I am so ready for it' | Epigram / Elin Alexander

If that isn’t going to be a possibility, then I just pray I can sit in a beer garden with my friends, pint in hand, with just general good vibes all around. One of the main disappointments for me this year has definitely been walking into W.G. Grace and not being able to approach friends at their tables or speak to randomers at the bar. Being confined to your seat isn’t exactly my idea of the ideal pub social but at this point, I’ll take what I can get.

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If I could predict what third year will bring, I would say a return to in-person teaching, the long-awaited reappearance of the Source café, society socials and lots of house parties. Do I think we’ll be having a boogie in Lizard Lounge anytime soon? I really, really hope so but I’m not willing to get my hopes up just yet.

As long as I can have a messy night somewhere that isn’t my own living room, and regret everything in the morning while sitting in front of a fat veggie breakfast in a café in the middle of nowhere with my mascara from the night before all over my face, then I’ll be happy. Here’s to a third year full of stories I won’t be telling my grandkids.

Featured image: Epigram / Elin Alexander


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