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Studying from your apartment during covid

The UK government announced another national lockdown on the 5th January, stopping many of us from either returning to Uni or returning home. Personally, I find working on my degree from my student accommodation much easier! Let us explore the pros and cons of being in student digs!

Best reasons to stay on in student digs

Number one for me is not being home. My parents are well-meaning, but they think they know best! When is it best for me to go to bed, and when should I study, what should I eat! I need to study when I want and grabbing a bite to eat when I choose. It seems like every time I play on my games; I get told I should be studying. I feel like a grownup away from home.

The second reason is I don't get distracted, at home with siblings; it is hard to study. Everyone is studying in my shared apartment, and we all know to leave each other to get on with it.

Another reason is with this covid virus around we are all 'bubbled' in our apartment. If we need to isolate we can do this as we all have en-suite facilities and the others will cook. The landlords Sheffield Property To Let, have told us if we need anything just to ask. They gave us sanitisers and stuff to clean with, in the early days and have looked after us very well. We are considering staying on for our next year because of this.

The big plus is access to the internet, at home, this is hogged by my parents trying to work from home! Add my brother's online schooling, and there is nothing left for my lectures on Collaborate. Here in the apartment, we have high-speed broadband. As we are all at lessons, the timings work for us in the evening to gather and watch Netflix, without someone wanting quiet and the bandwidth for a sales call.

I've got my own space! A bedroom and bathroom to myself, a shared kitchen and communal area with TV and sofas. We have a laundry and are careful when we go down to use it. Generally, though we are not on top of each other like it seems at home. My room came furnished with a comfy double bed and a desk and a proper office chair. At home, my bedroom is smaller so I get the dining room table.

I am paying for it all! If I were at home, I'd not save anything. Student finance works out your maintenance loan based on where you live during your studies. If I were living at home, I'd get far less than I do. Yes, I am paying rent, but that's why I am enjoying it while I can. If the protests were successful in breaking us from rental contracts, it means we go home and have less money to live on. My parents still want some contribution. If they manage to get us refunds, that will go probably back to student finance to pay back the loan.

The cons or the reasons to go home

I can see stress levels rising in some of my fellow students as they are parted from loved ones. However, this is the reality for a great many non-students as well.

It is hard when you seem to have to be isolated a lot as another member of your house, apartment or Halls gets a positive test. However, we students are said to be more resilient to this virus. I know of a few who have had it.

A few of us have lost relatives and just want to go home to grieve, and one I know has delayed their course. This is also the case with one of our International colleagues, who took the opportunity to fly home at Christmas. They have chosen to continue from their home despite the time difference.

The Future and the next academic year

While everything I read about this virus seems a bit gloomy, it appears that the vaccine will make things better and give us the 'herd immunity.' The experts say it will mean we can go back to normal.

If we get the vaccine at the rate it is going; it does look like we could be back as soon as mid-February, or just after the Easter break. This means getting next years apartment sorted! As was reported in the blog questions to ask yourself, it might be a plan to do this sooner. We are thinking of staying on for the next academic year. New students may think twice about renting Halls as you do seem a bit packed in those huge buildings. I believe many will delay coming to University to when this virus has gone. Us second, third and fourth years want to complete our degrees, and it makes complete sense to continue renting some space to study in!