One of the main things that people look forward to about university is the fun they will have. You might be looking forward to joining societies, sports teams, taking up new hobbies, or going on nights out. You might be excited for the freedom of living with other students and having more independence.
The uncertainty created by the pandemic means it is not possible to predict what your social life will be like yet. It will depend on your university’s approach, government restrictions and your own circumstances.
Does this mean that you cannot have fun? Definitely not! Below are our top tips.
1. Be flexible
Being flexible in your expectations is really important. If you go to university expecting things to be exactly as you imagine, then you will feel disappointed if those expectations aren’t met.
Your university will be working hard to make your experience as good as possible and will be trying to offer you the normal activities in a safe way. Try to prepare by accepting that things are unpredictable but be ready to take advantage of whatever is available.
2. Work out what is important to you
It can be helpful to spend a bit of time thinking about what you were most looking forward to about university.
- Was it meeting like minded people?
- Was it having fun and exploring a new town or city?
- Was it the chance to have new experiences?
Whatever it was that you thought was going to be the most fun about starting or going back to university, look for the opportunities to do these things as much as possible. They will still be there - they might just look a bit different.
3. Look at what can you do
You might be feeling a bit down that your university experience isn’t going to be as you had hoped or how it was before the pandemic. This is really understandable. It can be difficult not knowing what to expect.
However, once you have worked out what is important to you, try to think about what you can still do. For example, if nightclubs are unable to open again, you may still enjoy a night in with flatmates or a trip to a pub? Can you still enjoy being part of a sports club?
4. Work with reality
The reality is that what we can and cannot do is likely to change throughout your time at university. As difficult as it is for all of us, it can help to be prepared to be flexible and expect changes. Although this doesn’t stop us feeling disappointed or sad when things change, it can help us find a way forward more quickly.