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Hessa's story

 

At a time like this by Hessa

Quarantine for a 19 year old student

As I am writing this (21 May 2020), I am waiting for my turn to present my final submission of the year that concludes my first year of university.

Although, I am not presenting it in a classroom. Instead, I am waiting by my computer, at home, idling in a voice chat amongst 24 other students, whilst my tutor calls us up, one-by-one to open our microphones and talk about the work we have done for the past month.

I was very fortunate to have good internet connection and a good computer during my online classes. I am currently studying The Art of Video Games - 3D modelling for video games, to simplify it.  In my own conversations and overhearing others, some were not as fortunate as I was, with laptops that couldn’t run the software necessary, poor internet connections resulting in a lack of attendance to online lessons and some didn’t even have a microphone. I think it is at a time like this that really makes you reflect on what you have and perhaps what you are taking for granted. I only had two modules left during quarantine, 2D Visual Effects and Game Art.

I’m sure this is an experience that others from any course shares with me, but I found it a lot harder to understand some things at home in comparison to being at university, especially for a topic or skill that I had never looked into before.

I remember when I went to my local High Street for the first time since quarantine began. I had to go buy flour and baking powder but seeing how empty the big shops like Co-Op and Tesco were, was almost apocalyptic... I had never seen anything like it.  The baking section was close to empty. For some odd reason, the Co-Op’s chocolate shelves were deserted too.  I ended up having to go to local, smaller, East European shops, that seemed to have quite a bit of stock compared to others.

If there is one positive thing that has come out of this pandemic for me (and from what I have seen online, others too) is that I am more active.

I used to excuse myself from not exercising because of the long journeys on public transport to and from my university. Now, as I'm not travelling anywhere - just sitting by the computer for hours at a time - has a much bigger impact on me.  I wanted to avoid getting back problems and getting overweight, so I'm now pushing myself to either exercise at home with the equipment I have available, or to go out for a walk for about an hour every day.

Overall, I would say it has been okay, however it has been a little difficult emotionally and mentally - I have a boyfriend who (at time of writing)  I've not seen for almost 3 months. I miss him terribly.

I can tell my siblings are getting a little crazy over being cooped up for so long. My parents look to be handling it well, but I think deep down they dislike the current situation. It is important that we do our part though. I would rather we as a country get rid of the chances of another peak instead of possibly lengthening quarantine.

Acknowledging the “rule” that you shouldn’t go out, in comparison to having the choice not to go out, really sticks out in your head. Again, makes you think about what you had and still have now... or stuff you don’t really need, like the chocolate that disappeared from the Co-Op shelves.

written by Hessa

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