I came back to Essex in late summer after being away for the past one and a half years as a result of online Covid-19 teaching. Returning to Colchester brought memories back of fun nights out with my friends and long study sessions in the library. As I crossed the cement heavy squares on my way to meet a friend for coffee, I was reminded of how empty the campus felt without all of its students.
Every student has gone through intense challenges during the pandemic and the transition to online Covid-19 teaching has been far from easy. Like many other international students, I moved back to my home country when the pandemic hit and never returned for my next academic year. My home country Sweden never imposed a national lockdown nor were our businesses forced to shut down to the same extent as in other countries. By the time the new academic year of 2020 rolled up, I had gotten myself a good part time position and made some new friends along the way.
The option to go back to England in lockdown while online Covid-19 teaching was still happening, did not appeal to me and I decided to spend my second year at home. But today I feel hopeful. The university has welcomed its fresher’s with in-person events every day of the past week and many departments have welcomed their professors back for in-person teaching. The other day, alongside some fellow students I sat down with the head of the government department to discuss some of our experiences from the past year and we got some useful answers to our questions. This helped me leave last year’s experiences behind me and look forward to the New Year.
I feel both excited and intimidated for my last year in Essex. I will take on a large writing assignment in the form of a dissertation, where I will develop my research skills and challenge myself in completely new ways. Apart from my studies, I will also participate in both the Public Speaking society and the basketball team. In the next blog post I will explain how society activities can boost your university experience and create a great addition to your CV. It will also be a year of reflection on what I will want to do next. The beauty of a politics degree is that there are so many directions you could take with it, which can be just as thrilling as it is daunting. The most important part is that at the end of it, I will feel that I made the most out of my time here and I believe I am off to a good start.
All the best,