A new academic year at Essex is an opportunity to meet new people, hang out with old friends, and study a course you enjoy. However, as we all know this year has been turned upside-down, shaken and then been hit repeatedly with a hammer. Although it’s different, there’s no need to see it all as negative!

Living back in Essex

This year I moved in with my boyfriend into a little two-bedroom place about twenty minutes' walk away from Colchester campus and so far, I’ve loved it. Quarantine meant we didn’t get to spend any time with each other over summer, which was really hard, however now we live together it has brought us closer than before. We have found out we get along really well whilst living with each other and daily we find out new things about each other. Now when we want to annoy each other he’s only in the next room, which is a change from the three-hour drive!

I’m back near my friends! Although we cannot meet in person at the moment (which hopefully will change), we have been meeting up over zoom. On Halloween we met and had drinks as we would normally, and we have weekly quizzes. This is something I’ve really enjoyed and I think it’s made me appreciate the time I spend with them more.

Additionally, moving back to Essex means I get my independence back. After spending months cooped up with my parents in a two bedroom flat, I am no longer living under their roof. This feels amazing and is really important to me. I love having the freedom to do what I like in my home. Living back at university has really helped me in this way, Covid or not. I am looking forward to being able to see my friends again once lockdown is lifted, but for now I am happy.


It’s been about a month of having online lectures and I don’t really mind them being online for the moment. I was slightly worried about going back to university and having to do everything online. However, it has allowed me to be much more flexible and, in my experience, lecturers are still here to help. So far, these modules are the ones I’ve been most excited for across my whole course, which is definitely helping me pay attention!

Also, it’s just turned November which means it is absolute freezing outside. I HATE cold weather with a passion so currently that short walk to uni for lecturers seems like a marathon. I am happy that we are doing online lectures at the moment as I can stay in the warm with a cup of tea.

Although this is the case, I am looking forward to going back to normal lecturers. My subject is very practical and I am excited to get back in the lab!

Overall, I have enjoyed this year so far. I think during times like this you have to try and stay positive. Of course, no one wants to be locked inside, but hopefully we will be back to normal soon!