Lockdown as an international student

Hey guys, the academic year so far has been very… different. With switching between lockdowns to attending university completely on zoom, it’s been one heck of a roller-coaster. In today`s blog I give an insight into what lockdown has been like as an international student and tips on how to make the most of it.

When I got back to uni this January after a sunny Christmas break back home in Uganda with the horizon of a new year 2021, I was really looking forward to a fun outdoor semester especially given the whole vaccine discovery thing. Instead just a few hours back into my room, Mr Johnson was announcing a new lockdown immediately setting the tone for the next one month or so. The only immediately comforting thought in the moment was the closely approaching exam season that wold keep me busy. But now with the exam season well over, one can’t help but wonder, what next?

Well, as an international student one immediate effect I felt was the loneliness that came being almost alone in my flat. With everyone sheltering back home with their families for the lockdown period, it was quite disheartening to acknowledge the fact that I would have to live the rest of the semester alone in my room. Additionally, with my only family interaction being one weekly facetime with my parents, I started to question why I hadn’t chosen to just live the rest of my second year back in the sunny comfort of home.

Making the most of a lockdown

However, like they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Despite this year feeling like a total let down, there is a lot we can gain from the lockdown. Below will make a small list of some ways I have personally tested and recommend as an effect of the lockdown:

  1. Take time off for personal growth

If I am being entirely honest, there is things about myself I would probably have never discovered if it wasn’t for the enormous amount of personal space lockdown has provided. This however takes an effort. Instead of drowning in the sorrow of `what could have been’ take the step to proactively get to know yourself better without the usual hindrance from crowds. Trust me, it will go a long way for both your mental health and personal growth.    

  • Develop a skill

I know this probably sounds crazy given that outdoors is all closed off but trust me it’s not as hard as its usually put out to be. From cooking to creative writing, there is lots of skills to be learned even by simply watching a few you tube or masterclass videos. These skills can go be very useful not just for your personal use but even professionally.

  • Get in those applications!

With the reduction of distractions that lockdown provides, use this time to apply for things you usually wouldn’t have. For first years, this is the best time to apply for summer and spring schemes into companies you fancy. For second and third years, with the pressure for placements and graduate jobs piling up, lockdown provides the perfect conditions to concentrate on getting those applications in.

Don’t forget to talk a way around the neighbourhood, to the lake or to town to keep that body healthy. Thanks to all the platforms available to us, call and check up on your friends and family regularly to keep your spirits and theirs high.

Finally, if none of these work tips for you, remember, you can always set your time machine to skip and start over in 2022. Just kidding! Enjoy your week!