The first week back into virtual learning
By Izzy, MA (Hons) Geography and Social Anthropology
Adjusting to these – unprecedented – times at first felt like it was going to be a stretch. Though this first week has been up and down, the general gist of online learning could have more benefits than we realise!
Rolling out of bed to my desk to study and drink my coffee (in the warmth of my flat) is the ideal situation. Okay there was a slight hiccup on Monday with learn, but it was like having a snow day at school. With everybody in the same situation, the focus is very much now on the learning. Lecturers are doing the most in trying to make things more accessible, and with time maybe this will feel like the new normal.
Getting involved seems difficult given the nature of the situation, yet what I have found is societies are going above and beyond to try and put out things to do for us students. By this time of year normally, we would be awash with socials and ceilidhs. That hasn’t thrown a spanner in the works for fundraising however, the creativity involved with fundraising this semester has been second to none. GeogSoc have done a 24hour running relay around Edinburgh alongside lecturers, raising over £2200! Being involved in something like this was so heartwarming, as we all pitched in and kept up via social media with the others who were running. More societies have similar goals, and show us how important it is to work together despite testing times.
Realising from this experience of online learning, I recall what I do miss about the old university life. Walking to and from uni was a form of mindfulness for me, and so to not miss out on this I aim to go for a walk everyday. It may not be the same stressed saunter to reach my lectures on time, but it means I am actively trying to get out and about in Scotland more.
The other day, me and my flat mate drove to Cramond Island and got an ice cream – it may not have been so warm but seeing the world beyond the city made it worthwhile. It was only 20 minutes by car, and accessible by bus! Enrichment on a Wednesday afternoon never felt so sweet! Similarly, further along the Fife coastal route we watched the sunset and drove through the rolling hills. This just shows to me that whilst uni life may not be as it has been before, there are still ways in which we can make the most of our spare time.