Guest Blog: Student Life During Covid | OpinionPanel x YouthSight

Guest Blog | 27 Aug 2021

We have been tracking the student and applicant mindset during the past 18 months, offering guidance for universities who are navigating through a challenging time. In this new guest blog we hear directly from our panel member and university student, Tazmin, who explains the reality of studying during the Pandemic.

Read the blog and find out the challenges students are facing and gain insight on how you can offer support to them to improve their university experience. 

This is the eleventh article in our guest blog series written by members of our OpinionPanel Community. In this series you can hear Gen Z's stories, opinions and experiences written in their own words and on the topics that matter most to them.

Read more articles from the series here. 

OPC guest blog (2)

My first year at university didn't go exactly how I thought it would. I wish I had been able to meet new friends, join societies and go to university for my lectures and seminars, but in reality, it has been draining. Here's why...

1. The hours of zoom calls

The sheer number of hours of zoom calls has been exhausting. My eyes just cannot deal with the vigorous calls every day of the week!

I would have much preferred to go into university. I understand that this wasn't possible, but for me, it was hard to keep concentration throughout my first year.

2. Everything in one place

There were so many distractions: new surroundings that I wanted to explore, having my phone and other home comforts being so accessible next to me. You may say “why didn't you sit somewhere where you wouldn't get distracted?“, but with a global pandemic happening and me living in a one-room studio with my fiancé, it was simply impossible. The rule was to stay home, so I had to deal with what I had.

Also, family means a lot to me, so moving to a new city during the pandemic was a struggle. I would often attend lectures and think about when I could see my family next. Assignments are tough enough, and I had to keep myself focused on what was more important at that point.

3. Less chance to be social

If I was able to go out and meet new friends, my first year would have been much more bearable. Having no friends in my lectures/seminars to speak to was difficult and most people were afraid of talking to one another due to the pandemic.

When we were finally allowed to go to selected lectures in person, we were spaced 2 meters apart. No one knew where they stood and what boundaries others had. It was impossible to get to know your peers, so I didn't make any new friends - which was such a downfall. 

The truth is that it's been a really rough year for all students – whether you're studying at secondary school, college, or university. It's been even harder for those moving to new cities to study. Exploring unfamiliar surroundings and meeting new friends has been impossible.

Webinar Series: The Applicant and Student Mindset 

Enjoyed reading this blog? We have plenty more insights for you...

We partnered with our client at UCAS to launch a series of insight webinars on the student and applicant mindset. We reveal what students and applicants are looking for from universities and how you can harness this to boost your attraction and conversion goals.

Catch up on the highlights from the series so far, by clicking the link below. 

View the full series 

A Level Results Day: The Trends from This Year's Comms 

Last year's students may have struggled with the chaos of Results Day. But the mood this year was totally different - applicants are more confident and feeling positive about starting university in September.

How did universities respond to this? We reveal the top trends from this year's comms strategies in our new blog. 

A Level Comms Blog

Find out:

  • How this year's applicants felt in the build up to Results Day, and their reaction to receiving their grades
  • What applicants are looking for from universities and why it's so important to nail your comms strategy
  • What HEIs from across the sector have been up to and the key trends from this year's strategies

Read the blog


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