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Class Of Covid: Meet The Students Who've Barely Stepped On Campus

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Students starting university each year are told the experience will be the “most memorable” of their lives – but those words have taken on a whole new meaning for the ‘Class of Covid’, the cohort set to graduate in Summer 2022.

For students like myself, who are entering our final years this autumn, the majority of our university experience has been impacted by coronavirus.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major effect on everyone’s lives, university students have faced stressful and overwhelming challenges of our own – from switching to remote learning to coping with the isolation and/or claustrophobia of our living situations – and we can’t help but feel a bit lost, nearing the end of the tunnel.

Nina White, a 21-year-old English literature student, felt the pandemic pressure bite as she struggled to complete her final year studies in 2020 – so much so she pressed pause and will be completing her degree this coming academic year instead.

The Cardiff University student was in her second year when Covid-19 hit in the spring term of 2020. As someone who already lived with a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, those were testing weeks and months.

However, White’s mental health took a turn for the worse in third year when she received a low grade after more than a year of remote learning.

“I did really well in majority of my modules, but I really messed up one of them, and that was when I had a wake up call that this isn’t me. There is something wrong here,” she tells HuffPost UK.

White interrupted her studies in March 2021, “ironic, because that was [already] a year since the pandemic,” she says. “I feel as though I crumbled, and the grade made me feel so low because I put so much of my self-worth on it.”

Earlier on in the pandemic, she had moved out of her cluster flat in Cardiff and back to her home town of Cheltenham where she has been living ever since.

“My mental health deteriorated even more because I was just starring at a screen,” she says. “Ultimately the best choice was to just leave, and mentally prepare myself to finish next year in the hopes that things will be different.”

When Covid-19 forced the first national lockdown, universities had to make the difficult decision to move learning online to abide by the government’s stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.

Unsurprisingly, many students found the 100% transition to remote learning a difficult one, and universities focused on moving teaching and tutorials on to Zoom, soon realised they had to make student support a priority, too.

By autumn 2020, many students were back on campus, only to face further winter lockdowns, with some prevented from leaving their accommodation, and rising frustrations at the costs of learning (and living) almost entirely online.

“We had a lot of social activities, and different types of........

© HuffPost

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