Hi everyone, my name is Michelle and I’m a second year Civil Engineering student.
Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would finish the rest of my academic year online in self isolation because of a global pandemic, but if there is anything these past two months have taught me it’s that, every cloud has a silver lining. From the weekly zoom calls/meetings to the increased online group forums, my Bristol community has really come together during this time.
As an international student from Nigeria, thousands of miles away from my home country, I feared the idea of not having any one around me. With the sudden shift from in person to online learning, I thought that I would feel alone, but this could not be furthest from the truth. I have received an overwhelming amount of support and love from my family, friends, colleagues, and university staff too, through constant messages, phone calls, zoom calls and pretty much every online platform there is. I received calls from relatives I had not spoken to in years and invites from friends to move in with them momentarily. It has all been so heart-warming.
Keeping myself busy has also proved beneficial during this time. Besides studying, I joined the 2020-2021 committee for the Engineers Without Borders Society, I am part of a book-club that virtually meets every Tuesday and I am a volunteer UKCISA Student Ambassador. Virtual lunches, virtual talent shows and challenges/competitions, I have been a part of it all, my accommodation makes sure to leave no room for lethargy amongst its residents. After exams, I look forward to engaging more in my community through a job or internship (remotely of course!) and maybe I will enrol onto an online course to learn a new skill, the options are endless.
Let us embrace the change and keep moving. In a moment of uncertainty that is all we can do.
#WeAreTogether is a new social media campaign involving students and staff from UK universities, students’ unions, pathway providers and organisations across the sector. It highlights the full range of activity the sector is engaged in to combat Covid-19, and bring all those involved in UK higher education in together in a positive online community, to share messages of solidarity, support and gratitude.