I think that a lot of university students did not expect to be ending their degree in this way, including me - if somebody had told me at the start of my degree, that I would be celebrating finishing university at home during lockdown I would not have believed them. But this is the situation we find ourselves in, so I want to share how I’m coping with it.
My initial feelings
I think that many of us have sat at home torturing ourselves about what could have been – it’s very tempting to think about what it would have felt like to hand in our dissertations with all of our friends and celebrate together.
Now, this is a natural thing to do and maybe it’s unavoidable, but I do think that we should be careful when thinking this way as we are likely to imagine everything being perfect, but we don’t know that would have been the case.
Torturing ourselves over what could have been can start to impact our mental health in a negative way. So what can we do to help cope with the end of university in lockdown?
How I'm coping
One of the difficult things about this situation has been losing the structure that came with attending university. I’ve found it really helpful to create a new routine so I have some structure to my days. This has been as simple as writing down a few tasks to complete each day, but also being ok with not completing each one if I have not felt up to it.
After giving myself time to think about what the usual celebrations would have been like, I am now facing the reality of it and reminding myself of all I have achieved. We should all still be extremely proud of ourselves – we have gotten through three years of university and all of our hard work deserves to be celebrated despite being in lockdown.
It’s so important to still celebrate your achievements and this can be done at home. So, take your final photos of you and your dissertation, reminisce over your university experience with your friends over video-call and remember to take this time to relax - you deserve it!
I think that it’s easy to just forget about celebrating and move onto the next thing too quickly while we are in lockdown, but I really recommend taking as much time as you like to celebrate.
So, this isn’t how we thought that we’d be finishing our university experience, but we should all still be extremely proud of ourselves. Remember to celebrate. Remember how far you’ve come. Remember to talk about your experiences with friends and family.
Finally, remember that this situation is very much out of our control – try to stay positive and one day we will celebrate all together just like we were meant to.
Author: Laura, 21