Thomas Jenkins, 18, from Leyland, Lancashire but moving to Peel Park Quarter, Salford

Six months ago, the prospect of starting University life on campus seemed an optimistic vision. But now September has arrived and tens of thousands of students; including myself, are preparing to start the exciting journey that university life brings. Despite the progress made in the fight against Covid-19 the current climate does not allow for a completely seamless transition back to normality with countless important safety measures being put into place in accommodation and on the university campus as well as the current government guidelines governing our lives elsewhere. Personally, as a young person anxious to start a new stage in my education, it is frustrating not to be heading into the environment that you envision your whole academic life when you imagine yourself heading off for university. However, I think it’s important for new students to have a positive outlook on the next few weeks and months as a lot of work has been put in to ensure we are allowed the opportunity to study on campus even with the new online learning sessions that I’m sure I will become familiar with.
A potential struggle I think many students will be able to relate to is the fear of getting back up to speed with work. The cancelation of A-Level’s means I personally haven’t had a deadline to meet for almost seven months. In preparation for my journalism course I took it upon myself to write a couple of articles for a website on one of my passions – football. But it’s a lot different than being set a brief and timescale as you can chose to work when and how intensely you wish.
An impact of Coronavirus that is currently directly affecting me is the 14-day quarantine requirement when travelling back from certain countries. This has delayed my move into Salford by a week which puts me slightly on edge in regard to how quickly I will have to settle in to living before lectures and classes start. Luckily, I have been able to contact my future roommates in advance which has eased my nerves slightly in terms of meeting new people and forming new bonds which I think is going to be integral for every student who is starting university.
One thing that Covid-19 has not changed for me is the excitement of moving to the area of Greater-Manchester which is something that has had me counting down the days for a number of months now. The incredible facilities at Media City as well as having the buzzing city of Manchester on my doorstep are what drew my eye to the University of Salford, and I believe these things can be utilised and enjoyed by students to a high potential even with the new safety measures such as social distancing. I personally don’t mind the idea of a potential curfew for clubs and bars as it would allow students to safely go out and have fun but in a more controlled way which could benefit people’s studies.
I believe this current autumn is as good a time as any to begin my university journey despite 2020’s best efforts to say otherwise. I think young people have been living in post lockdown conditions long enough now to be able to acclimatise to the new look uni life. These changes may be disappointing but I believe it is our job as new students to respect these new, necessary adjustments and get our heads down and work to get the very best out of our courses whether it be online or in person as I am confident the delivery will be to the highest standard.

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