Midwifery student Freya talks about starting her degree at ARU during COVID-19, and her thoughts and feelings after her first week as a university student.
Well, what a year this has been.
When I first applied to study Midwifery, I never thought that there would be anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. In March everything came to a halt, but our NHS frontline workers and key workers carried on, putting their lives on the line to help us. I am so incredibly proud of every single one of them, and it has only intensified my passion to become a midwife!
When it came around to university starting, to be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive about what the system would be. Like many of the courses at ARU, Midwifery is a very hands-on learning experience and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be getting that same experience as previous first years.
Induction day came around fast, and I already had tons of information from ARU, reassuring me and my fellow classmates that there was a system in place to protect us and the staff. Sure enough, when we got there it was very organised! There were hand sanitisers spread out across the campus, the staff were properly protected with visors and masks, and there were so many people there who we could talk to safely about any concerns or queries we may have had. I was very impressed to say the least and it only made me even more excited to start my degree.
At the Freshers’ Fair, there were many stalls (including a Domino’s stall, giving out free pizza!) with loads of different societies and activities that we could sign up for. There was a special track-and-trace system there keeping everyone as safe as possible, and we were encouraged to wear masks and socially distance from each other. In lecture theatres, all of the seats have allocated 'ticks' to say where we can sit so that we are all nicely spread out.
I've now just finished my first proper week as a student midwife. Most of my lectures have been online and we have been given a timetable with all the links on to easily access them (to be honest, I’ve quite enjoyed my online lectures and my cups of tea!). We're in one day a week so that there is less congestion on campus.
Like I said before, this year has been hard on everyone and ARU has helplines and people that we can contact if we’re ever struggling or simply just need some reassurance. In my eyes, starting my first week as an undergraduate student at ARU has been amazing. Different than I thought? Yes, but have my expectations of my safety and education been assured? Yes!
I think ARU has done an amazing job at keeping us safe whilst still having a positive learning experience, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me and my degree.
By Freya, BSc (Hons) Midwifery student
Supporting our students
We know that it's an uncertain time and we're doing all that we can to make your University experience fulfilling and enjoyable. Find out more about studying at university and our safe and inclusive campuses.
To read about or access the support Freya mentions in her post, visit our health and wellbeing pages.