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2020 has been an unusual, and often daunting, year. However, here at University Centre Shrewsbury, we have adapted and looked at implementing new measures to ensure you can still get what counts. To find out more, we caught up with third year English student Arianna to learn about her experience of returning to university.

“What a bizarre world we are living in right now. I couldn’t imagine trying to explain to my past self what Coronavirus is, or why I must remember a mask before leaving the house. Like many, I was nervous to return to University for the new year. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 and the new social distancing measures have changed the way we learn. However, these changes have been surprisingly seamless, and I soon realised that virtual learning has lots of perks!

The biggest change I have experienced is transitioning to online learning. My lecturers have done an excellent job of ensuring digital lectures run smoothly, and I have found them to be extremely similar to face-to-face lectures. The presentation slides are displayed on our laptop screen and if we have a question there is a ‘hands-up’ button to press on the screen. Sometimes I don’t even realise I am sat at home (usually in my PJ bottoms)!

One of the biggest benefits of online learning is how much time I have saved by not driving to and from university. I am currently in my final year of study; therefore, I have four modules and a dissertation ahead of me, but online learning means I can go straight from a lecture to dissertation writing. As well as this, I can save money on petrol. I always make sure to give myself a break if I am spending the day at home. I find time to go out for a walk (usually with my dog) and get some fresh air.

Even with the benefits of online learning, I still look forward to my face-to-face lectures every Thursday. The University has put lots of safety measures in place to ensure the building is safe and social distancing is always followed. There are arrows placed on the floor to clearly direct you around the building, and there are markers showing you suitable places to sit inside the lecture room. I have got used to waving to my friends from the other side of the classroom!

Although the pandemic has been unexpected and scary, it has taught me that adapting to change is often easier than we think. I now feel confident attending my digital lectures and I am looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Find out more about life and study at University Centre Shrewsbury at our upcoming Virtual Open Day on Saturday 5th December. Find out more and book your place here.

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