COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some way and as a law student, I’ve been no exception and my life has definitely changed. Whilst I found isolation and lockdown changes hard, lockdown did teach me various life lessons, such as slowing down.
My experience:Lockdown happened during my first year at university so it was definitely strange, to say the least - I had already experienced a lot of changes in my personal life and moved out from home for the first time in September 2019. I’d just about got used to the university lifestyle, education and how exams work when suddenly, everything changed. Whilst I was lucky to experience my first two semesters as normal without COVID, the whole of my third semester was put online. Not having lectures in person and having them through a screen meant I found I had to put a lot more effort into concentrating and making sure I was engaging with the content. It’s a lot easier to disconnect when the only thing in front of you is a laptop screen and you have the ability to replay the video as many times as you like. My tutorials (discussions of the subject- in my case law, in small groups), through Microsoft Teams was an interesting experience- they were live and sometimes there would be slight glitches or moments where we were all trying to just familiarise ourselves with the software. As opposed to when they were in person, having these virtual meant that students could hide behind their screens and not even have to show their face- sometimes not even use their voice as they could use the chat feature (which works very much like text messaging in a group chat) instead. I did miss the interaction in person, but online learning did have advantages like being able to do it from the comfort of your own home and aside from tutorials which were live, being able to do lectures at whatever time you liked as they were prerecorded.
Although coronavirus cancelled pretty much all of my events and my whole semester at uni, it failed to cancel my exams. My exams, which typically would have been closed book, were turned into coursework style, but with a 10 day period. It was stressful as I, like everyone else in the same situation as me, had no idea what to expect or quite how to prepare. I did not really know how to approach revising. Now that I have finished my first year, I’m looking at picking up some of my french again and getting ready to go back to university. When I go back, I’ll be having a mix of socially distanced in person teaching and virtual teaching.