More than Six months down the lane and feels like a day ago since I came to UK to pursue my masters. More months to go, but I have learnt and experienced so much. From frequent travelling to social gatherings to immense studying and project submissions, this experience has been incredible. I do not remember days where I have been free as there is always something going on. And now, this journey has been modified with the quarantine experience. The point of this write up is to guide you how this road varied along the way, outlining the beauty of things and the importance of maintaining our targets.
The first month passed by getting accustomed to the university’s environment, courses, what it demanded and the expectations required from it. As months passed, focus and intensity on studies increased. Similarly, the second semester started off in the same manner but this time, we were more comfortable and knew how to tackle coursework. Amidst studies, social life continued, along with travelling with either friends or alone to experience UK’s rich culture and beauty. Evening out with friends after class or cooking dinner together was part of daily routine. In the past months, I have traveled to the North, West and South and experienced beautiful sights. Things kept me busy and time passed swiftly. However, given the global scenario, after the end of March the experience started to modify. This environment is a kind of its own. Where normally I stayed outdoors to engage in studies and all else, everything now must be conducted with-in a four walled space.
Time to adapt
But is it that bad and should that stop us from reaching our goals? Our education requires full commitment in order to achieve that degree. Yes, situations and environments change, but as gloomy as that may be, we must continue. I remember during last semester’s final exams, the library used to be packed with students. People gathered there to study as well as relax. Now that this semester’s exams are near, the learning experience, such as studying in the library or face to face teaching wouldn’t be the same. But does that matter? It does, but it shouldn’t. For some, studying in quarantine is an opportunity where they believe that more time captured can be optimized to learn as much as they can. The other side however lacks the motivation as the mind is distracted and study time is not utilized efficiently. To be honest, I was briefly part of the latter side, but I immediately overcame that lifestyle because I understand that no matter the crises, we must proceed with our studies as this is what we signed up for. A good thing about online learning is that it gives us extra time on a day by the commute time saved. It also gives a chance to reflect on the important things we must accomplish as well enhance our skills by learning something new.
Regardless of the environmental changes, I believe objects shouldn’t change and the train should continue. I am awaiting the time I can go out and travel again, but in the meantime, coursework must be submitted and final exams have to be given. One thing is for sure though (for better or for worse, I think better) as an international student, my postgraduate experience has been colorful and versatile, allowing me to experience many kinds of lifestyle.