By Darcy Servais
Whether you are a fresher heading into first year, or a third-year Cardiff University veteran, we are all concerned about the lasting effects that COVID-19 will have on the start of the new academic year.
Since the last term was unexpectedly cut short, I’m sure that we are all eager to get back into uni life. However, what should we expect upon returning to university this September?
Truth be told, no one has the answer yet.
Choices regarding academic and miscellaneous matters by Cardiff University are still under consideration, and many feel they have no idea what the year ahead will bring.
Module choices have been retracted, large lectures have been booked for online, and the clubs won’t be open any time soon.
Whilst we’ve still got access to the infamous power hour at Live Lounge, social distancing measures mean that freshers won’t be able to experience the sweaty, sticky, and overall magic nights in our favourite clubs.
So how do we get around this?
‘Looking on the bright side’ is easier said than done. We tend to focus more on the things that we are missing out on, which isn’t the best way to approach a situation that we have no control over.
Finding things to look forward to is difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Rather than focusing on the things that we might miss out on, focus on the positivity of a new approach.
Students moving into university halls of residences will be treated the same as a ‘family household’, and flatmates will still be able to interact with one another as they create their own social bubble.
Whilst freshers’ events may not be occurring in your run-of-the-mill nightclub, societies are working hard to make sure that the freshers experience doesn’t go amiss.
What about learning?
Although the academic experience may not be what we are used to, new ways of teaching and learning will be introduced in the coming term.
A blend of online and face-to-face teaching will be used in order to comply with Welsh Government’s regulations and to keep both students and university staff safe.
It is important to remember that the decisions that are made are in the best interest of keeping everyone safe, whilst attempting to regain some normality back into our lives.
For any students that are concerned about returning to campus, or that are unable to be present on campus for whatever reason, there is a wide range of accessible support available if needed.
There is no need to worry about falling behind as the university will work hard in order to make sure no one is disadvantaged due to their situation.
What’s happening in the city?
Cardiff Council have been working extremely hard in order to make Cardiff a safe city for both locals and students.
There are measures that have been put in place in the city centre in order to protect the public and prevent any further spread, without the experience feeling too out of the ordinary.
Other than the one-way pedestrian system, shops are open as normal and the buzz of the city seems to be returning slowly but surely.
If you are returning to Cardiff, or starting a new chapter as a Fresher, you still have lots to look forward to!
Whether it’s daytime drinking in the Welsh bars or playing silly games with your flatmates, soon enough you will feel at home again.