Friday, April 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Lockdown Letters

Dear Lockdown 3.0: Series Revival
Lockdown Letters

Dear Lockdown 3.0: Series Revival

“Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of youCaught up in circlesConfusion is nothing newFlashback, warm nightsAlmost left behindSuitcase of memoriesTime after…” Cydni Lauper’s 1983 song ‘Time After Time’ is now perhaps more relevant than ever as lyrics resonate an infamous soundtrack for the UK and many internationally as we are all too familiar with the rigmarole of you, Lockdown. It has been proven as much taxing as necessary.  Last time we spoke, I was saying a ‘see you later’, perhaps with a slight pessimism that casted doubts of what the future held for us when restarting university. Sadly, we are still not at a point of a permanent goodbye. Since last speaking, I have been graced with your presence twice more and wait in the coming weeks to see whether you ...
Lockdown Letters: Final Instalment
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Final Instalment

Dear Lockdown,   It seems our permanent time with you, for now, has drawn to an end, with exceptions of local lockdowns, curfews and other measures that are still in place across the country. As this chapter of the COVID generation has started to close, so does our series.   In returning to campus we have spent these first couple of weeks, familiarising ourselves with routines of the ‘new normal’ of social distancing, facemasks in shops (and now seminars), and COVID track and trace forms in restaurants. This is a sort of post-lockdown era.   I hope that this can begin to mean the end for ...
Lockdown Letters: Anon medical student
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Anon medical student

Dear Lockdown,  You’re a d*ck… but I love you.  Your name has been in our lives since the back end of March and it seems for most of us, you are in a light sleep, with the loud winter yet to come.  You’ve brought us many challenges and struggles, which I won’t bore you with here because you could turn on the news from any period since March to find out how much of a d*ck you really are for millions of people.  But what you have gifted us with is time, too much time, and time with our own thoughts. Time we haven’t been caught up in work, commuting and socialising. Many of us got to know ourselves deeper and more personally, for better or for worse – hippy vibes over, I promise.  After my thinking time, I’ve come to the conclusion that I love you Lockdown,...
Lockdown Letters: Sara Hussain
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Sara Hussain

Dear Lockdown, I’m sorry to have to say this but, I hate you. Actually, no, I hate COVID-19. But I severely dislike you. I recognise you as one of the most necessary evils I have ever come across. Being forced to return to London three months earlier than planned was gutting. Taking that step to move to America was both exciting and terrifying, but I thought I had finally gotten to grips with the place. In that last week of March, I felt as if I was teetering on a balance beam, caught between staying in California, at the mercy of the unpredictable virus and US government’s emergency decisions, and flying back to London, resigning to the fact that my adventure was well and truly over. Those endless hours of anxiously pacing up and down my dorm room on the phone to my parents, checki...
Lockdown Letters: Jaylen Simons
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Jaylen Simons

Dear Lockdown,  Hola! Its strange to be greeting you since you and I have become well acquainted over the last few months, as I am sure many others have too. Nonetheless, hello. It’s good to talk to you.  For many, Lockdown has been a time of closeness, aloneness and certainly a time of sameness – so many ness words but its an apt suffix for our current situation. I’ve been called back to the family home abroad and have spent the time pestering my sister and parents.  My time has changed altogether, being in a different time zone too. When I wake up my friends from school and university are having lunch. When it’s time for the weekly Zoom Pub Quiz, I’ve not even had dinner. Time I would have been spending studying for final exams is now free and unending. I’m sur...
Lockdown Letters: Luthien Evans
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Luthien Evans

Dear Lockdown,  I have to say, you changed a lot of my plans this year. I was supposed to be in China this summer; I even wanted to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, to tick one off the bucket list. But that didn’t go to plan. As past summers and Love Island gimmicks have taught me – it is what it is.  As lockdown and new restrictions have become our new normal, I find myself newly acclimatised. I always was an introvert and so staying inside sounded idyllic. Yet, I still had to adapt, and this started with my education. In my various different schools at Cardiff University, they allowed leniency for exams. My timeframe was larger than most, with a week given for each. Yet, I still procrastinated throughout.  After exams, I needed a new focus. You have changed m...
Lockdown Letters: Katie McCooey-Hall
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Katie McCooey-Hall

Dear Lockdown, Hello! How are you in these unusual times? I’m good, I even managed to get out of bed and put on ‘actual’ clothes today. What have you been up to? I prepared myself for long days inside with a checklist of things to complete before the quarantine ended. Learn French, read multiple books, catch up on uni work, rearrange my room, clear out my wardrobe, do a daily work out… the list goes on.  I must admit, none of those have been completed. Well, I did a little bit of French and I can tell you that I currently go to university in Plymouth, but that would be a lie, as my home has recently been converted into my university, and my bed is now my lecture theatre.  There is another new language that I am excelling in though, the language of quarantine. ‘Stay safe...
Lockdown Letters: Isabella Koppensteiner
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: Isabella Koppensteiner

Dear Lockdown, It is quite hard to pin down how you have (and continue to) impact my life. As an international student from Vienna, I left Royal Holloway mid-March, on the last day the Austrian border was still open. I thought you would be history in a matter of weeks, maybe months, and then everything would be – excuse me for using that expression – back to normal again. I moved in with my parents, appreciated the quality time I could spend with them and endured the two weeks quarantine.  As many others, I made myself a quarantine to do list, completed a Google Digital Marketing course, started to learn Spanish on Duolingo, trained to do the splits (I got quite close, but not there yet), bought a fancy cotton face mask, and virtually met up with friends more often than I would...
10 Student Stories: Living with Coronavirus
Lifestyle, Lockdown Letters

10 Student Stories: Living with Coronavirus

2020 has so far been a year that has left many feeling baffled, unnerved and curious about the future. With concerts, festivals and shows being cancelled, social lives have quieted down to the realm of FaceTime’s and Zoom calls with glasses of wine at hand. The Coronavirus pandemic has left millions confused about when we will have our ‘normal’ livelihoods back. With the education system seemingly suffering as a consequence, universities not only within the UK, but across the globe have been forced to shut their gates to students for a length of time that currently does not have an expiration date.  My university, Royal Holloway, University of London, closed for face to face teaching in late March, resulting in thousands of students accessing online learning for their studies. Exa...
Lockdown Letters: A Series
Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: A Series

Dear Lockdown,  Living with you is like living with no one else. In many ways you have shown us different meanings of ‘normal’, and many are looking forward to the normal we knew before we joined your company, however many are still understandably apprehensive to leave you alone. But with university life in the most part continuing, as students, our version of our time with you has mainly consisted of adapting to studying online and an online exam season. However, housemates over recent weeks have become replaced with family members and the world of coffee cups scattering library desks and SU meal deals as the go-to library snack ceases to exist.  In honesty Lockdown, you have been trying on us all. But you have also shown that it is possible to procrastinate over our d...