This Friday on Fuse TV, a new student documentary will explore the myriad ways student lives have changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
It has changed our lives dramatically over the past 8 months, and no less for students. They left their university halls and homes in a matter of days, hours, even minutes, in the hope of getting back to a place of familiarity. Universities were one of the first institutions to close down before the national lockdown. Situations differ from university to university.
Students up and down the nation were left in limbo on whether to stay or go. Some had the opportunity to move out of their halls without collecting their stuff for free. Others spent the beginning of lockdown worrying about whether they would be freed from their accommodation contracts and be refunded. The University of Manchester initially said that students would be charged if they did not leave their halls before a certain date. This was reversed during lockdown, and students who were charged were then reimbursed.
International students were in an even more difficult situation. They had a matter of days to return home before international travel restrictions came into place worldwide. The price of a plane ticket home was a financial strain on some. But this seemed like a better option than paying for accommodation, not only in terms of money, but also for safety.
As lockdown took control of our lives, many could no longer go to work and were told to work from home. However, many students did not have this option. Their jobs in pubs, restaurants, bars, and pools were either furloughed or placed on redundancy lists. Some students then struggled to find new jobs. Many organisations cried out for people to work for them, the story was very different on the other side of the coin. Students waited for months to hear back from applications, whilst many post-graduates failed to find permanent work in their field.
As we enter the second wave, coronavirus continues to change our lives, at home and at work. Many students feel abandoned and unheard during this pandemic, and the people of tomorrow believe they need to be heard. They want to have a voice.
Coronavirus: A Not-So Student Life is due to be released on Friday 13th November, only on Fuse TV.