Hey everybody! It’s been a long time since I last posted (sorry!), but a Covid-19 lockdown is not particularly exciting to write about; same stuff every day.
Thanks to Covid, however, I have had a lot of time to think. Many of you are applying for universities at the moment as Term 3 draws to a close. Perhaps you are second-guessing your decision to attend Auckland. I’ll be completely transparent with you all: lockdowns haven’t been great. It’s my first year at University, and I’ve gone into lockdown twice. It’s the second semester; we are entering the second month of lockdown; I haven’t been able to see my family, and the rest of this year’s Uni has moved online.
Realistically, however, my year is most likely the last year to have such a tumultuous experience here at Auckland Uni. Vaccination levels in the country are steadily increasing, and we should have herd immunity at some point in the near future. As we have learnt from this most recent lockdown, the “elimination” strategy is no longer a viable option if new variants continue to pop up. The virus mutations are more infectious (I mean, honestly, through an open door?! 🦠🏃♂️), and we cannot afford to lock down the business centre of New Zealand for months at a time (the economy is weeping 💰😢). Vaccination and mask-wearing are our best options.
One benefit of attending a University in the most popular coronavirus location is that Auckland Uni knows what they’re doing. We have received regular email updates, extensions on deadlines and to ensure that no Uni student was in the lurch for the rest of the year; exams are online. Sure, I’m not happy, I like attending lectures, and the setback of transitioning to learning at home was tough! Reasonably though, the University has responded well and had excellent processes established for such a change. Uni online means I can finish off at home. At my accommodation, to help students deal with finances and get home, those away from accommodation have not had to pay, and all severance fees for cancelling our contracts early have been waived.
I get where you’re coming from; you are worried, stressed out and having experienced some of your NCEA Level 2 and 3 in lockdown, you can say with confidence it’s sucky. But I assure you, Auckland Uni works hard to ensure that we can get what we need. Study spaces are available in Level 3, free data for those without Wi-Fi, free laptops for those without.
In future, I may look back at this time in my life and be thankful. Every student at Auckland University is resilient, able to adapt to adverse circumstances and even at their lowest were able to overcome. Perhaps this lockdown and this virus is the making of us.