Image Credit: Sarah Dance
I hate that I have to be writing things like this, and I wish that I wouldn’t have to share my thoughts on ‘how to make this year at University as good as it can be’ because in ‘normal’ times it would be what it is and that would be enough. Yet, here I am, trying to convince you (and myself) that despite Covid-19 we can still make the most of our time in York.
For those of you who, like myself, are still living in York despite online learning, this may be a draining time and, whilst we may not be able to enjoy the sweaty window-walls of Flares or experience the crowded, cliquey bottom dance floor of Salvos, we can recreate some of it at home. This is what I try to tell myself at least.
Just because we’re prevented from doing the activities we would usually do does not mean that we can’t have fun. Though you may have to put some effort into it. One thing I will say is it's not enough to just sit around and drink in your flat kitchen or living room – this is OK, but we can do better!
Something my flatmates and I have done is a ‘club crawl’ night a few times now. The basic principle is: every room is a different theme, has a different music style, different decorations etc. For example, the last time I did it, my room was jungle/bangers themed, someone else did a silent disco and another person did a One Direction room (can’t say I was thrilled about that last one…). To finish off the night you order in food – it’s not the same as standing in the freezing cold outside of Deniz, but a greasy kebab or pizza delivered to your door after a night on the ‘town’ is still pretty amazing.
Another crucial element of this is you have to get dressed up – treat it like any other club night and make yourself feel good by sprucing yourself up a bit! These nights have been some of my favourite nights at University, and if you really lean into it you can forget about all the restrictions and awful things happening around you. Just please be mindful of your neighbours who maybe don’t want to hear you singing at the top of your lungs at 3am; I would advise doing it on a Friday or Saturday night, and start early so that you aren’t going on late into the night.
But these things don’t all have to involve drinking. Going out for a walk, especially now that its not illegal to sit down at outside! When the warmer weather comes think picnics in the sun. Board/video games are such a good way to spend time with the people you live with, or, make up your own games. I don’t think my flatmates and I could have gotten through this year without Mario Kart Wii – we have even spent hours playing all 36 maps in order (sounds boring, but we loved it). Not only do these moments provide you with fun in the moment, but they also just give you something to talk, and later laugh, about.
The basic idea is don’t just sit around and complain that you can’t do the things you love – find ways to make these happen so you can still enjoy them. Of course, if something like swimming is something you miss, I don’t have much to tell you, but most things can be at least partly replicated with a bit of ingenuity.
I’m sorry if this comes across quite rant-like or instructive because that is not my aim. Ultimately what I am trying to say is that just because we are all cooped up does not mean we have to sacrifice the full ‘university experience’. You aren’t going to get that experience in this climate if you don’t put some effort into it; take time out of your day to spend time with the people you live with, but not just by sitting around, actually do something and make plans (Covid-19 safe plans only though).
I for one am not letting Covid-19 fully ruin my final year at University, and with a little effort and creativity, it won’t.