In case you hadn’t noticed, life has been a tad different over the last 18 months.
Coronavirus has interrupted our life in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined back in 2019. Few demographics have felt the brunt of this sharp departure from normality more than students.
During the height of lockdown, covid restrictions on campus changed the quintessentially sociable experience into something far less enjoyable.
Universities were often ill-equipped to manage students being stuck inside. This, combined with the huge surge in 2020 admissions painted a grim picture of studying during the pandemic.
Hope on the horizon
Despite the extension of lockdown to July 19th, the vaccine programme appears to be a success. Therefore, come September, we should be free of most Covid restrictions.
This means that freshers and current alumni alike will be looking to the start of term favourably. High in the hopes that unfettered socialising may once again become part of day to day life.
A unique challenge
While restrictions on venues and gatherings have slowly been lifted over the past few months, the start of term presents new challenges for those working to keep students safe and happy.
Many young people have had a year and a half of fun taken away from them. Students will no doubt be looking to recoup these losses when their education begins anew.
On top of this we will still be living with the hangover of Covid. Just like a cold you just can’t shake, there is the possibility of some restrictions being continued / brought back.
There will also be a proportion of students who, due to underlying health conditions, could still be at risk. All this creates a balancing act, an attempt to create a fun experience for all, while ensuring concerns are listened to.
Support for anxious students
For many of those either starting or returning to their studies, the possibility of being with so many people after long periods of isolation could be quite scary.
Reopening anxiety is already very much a thing. Combine this with all the angst of starting uni and you have the potential for a very daunting prospect.
It’s important that this is taken into account when curating the overall student experience. A fair assumption would be that the usual level of concern about starting a new life will only be heightened by the abnormal conditions we find ourselves in.
That’s why preparing and educating staff is a great way to ensure that needs are met and concerns properly addressed.
While we of course know that one on one time with every student isn’t always feasible, a little bit of understanding can go a long way.
Precautions for the revellers
There will of course be those who exist on the other end of the spectrum. The individuals who have only just experienced clubs and packed pubs once more and are keen to pick up where they left off.
Once again the combination of being at university with the effects of covid risk a wave of overindulgence, greater than your usual freshers week. The diligent security guards and staff members will no doubt be, on occasion, required to pick up the pieces.
Attempting to stem the tide of would be revellers would be utterly futile. One solution to try and mitigate any problems would be to further educate on the risks of explosive levels of hedonism.
Some well placed and knowing marketing materials ahead of and during the start of term would be a good place to start.
So that’s it then?
Of course there is so much more to creating a good experience for your students. As we’re not providers of higher education, our expertise ends here.
All we can offer is a way to make one thing easier for you. Something which takes up more time than it should. Lost property.
With NotLost’s tailor made software you will be able to make sure that lost & found enquiries no longer take up your precious time. Hours that could be better spent helping students to have the best possible experience.
UCL transformed their lost property process back 2019 and they haven’t looked back since.