A lot has been said about the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. While almost every sector of society has been disrupted and impacted by the pandemic, there are many positive stories coming out every day of communities pulling together to help one another. In addition, there are plenty of individuals that are thriving even during these challenging times.
Here are some of the ways that university students have risen to meet the challenge of the pandemic and are thriving despite the obstacles it poses.
Spending More Time Studying
There’s no doubt that the students of 2020 and 2021 look forward to socialising with their peers and enjoying all of the experiences university has to offer. But while socialising has had to take a backseat, the amount of time for studying has risen. This puts students in a stronger position once they can start participating in-person in university life.
The pandemic has also allowed students the time they need to complete their studies while getting plenty of sleep. Sleep is a crucial factor in academic success as well as overall health and wellbeing.
Increased Mental Health Awareness
We have all become more mental health conscious over the past 12 months. From financial worries to health concerns, almost everyone’s mental health has been impacted by the pandemic in one way or another. While the awareness of mental health on university campuses had been rising steadily in the years before the pandemic, it is now front and centre of many institutions.
There are many initiatives that have been launched by universities to help their students get the mental health help they need and deserve. Examples include more significant contact with lecturers and personal tutors to support groups for students feeling the strain of loneliness and stress.
Better Use Of Technology
The advances in technology that the pandemic has stimulated cannot be understated. They have allowed greater accessibility in education than ever before. Students with learning difficulties are some of those that have seen the most significant impact, with new assistive technologies for universities being brought out, each better than the last.
Caption.Ed automatic transcription is one such assistive technology that has revolutionised the student experience. Allowing students to read and transcribe their lectures and seminars as they are taught and providing them study materials at the touch of a button.
The focus on non-conventional teaching methods that have been a necessity during the pandemic has had an excellent impact on improving the accessibility of higher education for all. Geographical location is no longer a barrier to accessing higher education, and it seems likely that the trend of remote learning will continue.
Improved Online Safety And Interactions
With our lives being mainly lived online over the past months, there has been an increase in awareness among the younger generations around digital safety. The need for safe online interaction has been crucial for years now, and never more so than with the pressures added by the pandemic.
This increased awareness has the result that the internet is becoming a safer place for students, children, and society.
Focus On Social And Environmental Issues
The pandemic has brought about a rise in awareness of social and environmental issues. Students are leading the charge in promoting sustainability, and as the next generation of consumers have a large role to play. From the climate school strikes to increased interest in veganism, the student population is at the forefront of many social changes.
Diversity and social equality have long been hallmarks of academic institutions. The pandemic has brought to light issues that have long existed within society, and university students are those most openly embracing and celebrating diversity.
Many students have also used their extra time during lockdown to engage with local charities. This increase in charitable engagement has had an enormous benefit, not just for the charities but for the students themselves. Engaging in good work in the community has helped students feel connected and helped to combat loneliness.
The pandemic has had many repercussions on our lives, both good and bad. The university experience is drastically different in 2020 and 2021 compared to previous years. Partying, socialising, and in-person activities have had to take place online rather than in person, and there has been a much increased focus on studying.
While this has its downsides, it has also led to an increase in awareness and social change for good. Many students are thriving on a personal as well as academic level during the pandemic.
We are all excited for pre-COVID life to resume. As lockdown slowly eases, we will be saying goodbye to many of the negative consequences of the pandemic. What the university students’ experience of the pandemic can teach us all is that there is plenty we have learned and gained over the past 12 months.