Study Abroad at Home: The Solution to Isolation

In this week’s article Siobhan discusses how she’s still managing to enjoy herself in England, and gives her advice on how to preoccupy yourself while in isolation.

Credit: Siobhan Dale

I can honestly say my first week of university turned out quite well, all things considered! Forget freshers, this is one for the memory books. My week kicked off at a concert. Newcastle has set up the Virgin Money Unity outdoor arena in Gosforth Park, and has had a variety of artists, from local artists to world renowned DJ’s. I went to see Becky Hill with four of my friends, and it was incredible! Your tickets buy you a pod for the night to keep social distancing intact. I thought I’d miss the crowd and atmosphere, but I couldn’t complain, and I liked having my own mini stage I could perform on. We danced our docs off, and when I looked around everyone else was in their own bubble dancing and singing to their hearts content too. I was on such a high and felt like if I had been in Venice, I would’ve missed out on this experience of one of the first socially distanced concerts. So, I considered myself lucky and went to bed grinning, thinking I’d found some peace in the knowledge that being stuck in England wasn’t so bad after all.

“Someone I’d been in contact with had tested positive for COVID 19!”

“I’ve got a text” and not like the ones you see on love island. Someone I’d been in contact with had tested positive for COVID 19! With that I went from the high of a new normal to dreading being locked up in my room again. After the initial shock I thought about the past few months and reflected on lockdown. What did it bring me? New memories with my family, time to focus on my mental and physical health, and the realisation I am horrendously bad at Zoom quizzes. Once I remembered this, I thought of how I could make light of this situation. With COVID cases peaking in the north again some of you may be in similar situations, so here are four ideas to start you off, whether your isolating or freshers is getting a little too much.

  1. Although classes at Leeds may not have started yet, it’s just around the corner, so it’s time to get organised! This might seem boring, but I started on modules this week and hadn’t fully prepared myself. I needed all the back to school basics you forget about in the excitement of a new academic year. I came across work from school on Othello which is one of my modules for Venice this semester. It was actually quite sentimental reading my old work, and it reminded me how important it is to get organised and choose modules you feel passionate about.
  2.  I’m also going to take part in some welcome week events, to keep me in touch with Leeds, these include: The Gryphon, LSR and LSTV. I’m trying to find the equivalent of these societies in Venice! (I’ll keep you posted). These societies are great to get involved with, and even on your computer it will allow you to meet people outside your course.
  3. Pamper night! ASOS next day delivery is a blessing, so I suggest you spend a small sliver of that student loan you’re getting on some personal care. I think once we got out of lockdown we forgot how to look after ourselves, because we got so wrapped up in trying to get our lives back on track. So, use this time, isolation or not, as a swift reminder that you need to look after yourself. I got some new skin care, put on a movie and had a couple too many glasses of wine, but you can define self-care however you see fit. It gave me a night I didn’t know I needed.
  4. Clear out your wardrobe. Both therapeutic and needed for a new academic year. Sell your clothes on Depop or take them to a charity shop. Clean wardrobe, clean mind. Plus, re-selling your clothes gives you some extra cash and is a good way to dilute spends in the fast fashion industry.

My heart sunk when I got that text. After a week I found little solutions to preoccupy myself and make me reminisce on how far I’ve came and what I’ve got yet to come. Venice I’m coming to you with better skin a better wardrobe and a better outlook! See you soon, arrivederci.

Header Image Credit: Siobhan Dale