Opinion: Students returning May 17, is it too late?

The government has recently announced that all University students are able to return back to campus earliest May 17th, however, most students (including myself) feel this is pointless and unfair as most courses will be completed for the semester. Most hospitality and shops have had priority with opening a month before. Students returning was clearly the last thing on the governments mind.

Students and young adults have been the most blamed group of people for the rise of infections throughout the whole pandemic, although they’re also the same people who’ve had the biggest lifestyle change. Not being able to go out, socialise, low priority in vaccinations and losing jobs and not being able to attend University.

Even when students tried to make a difference and get answers by making a petition to reduce university fees, the government rejected it and commented saying; “Tuition fee levels must represent value for money and ensure that universities are properly funded. The Government is not considering a reduction in maximum fee levels to £3,000”.

It seems like the government has a constant issue with younger people, but we all know their tone will change when the same young people are helping build the economy as lockdown eases. Of course it’s hard to follow rules or be satisfied when your group are the ones with no answers or direction during the whole pandemic as the government care so little.

Enya Wilson, a first year Interior Design student at University of West London, has had no face-to-face teaching, met her lecturers or classmates. She said; “I feel like uni students have really been forgotten about. We are never mentioned in any announcements, no date until recently about when we will return, and it’s been pretty stressful to be honest”.

It’s not hard to see that university students have been some of the most neglected during the pandemic, having to pay rent in rooms they don’t live in, fees for lessons they don’t attend and increasing mental health for being left in the unknown.

You’d think the announcement of the return to face-to-face teaching would bring more joy than disappointment, but that’s not the case. May 17th marks the end of the third and final semester with not many students being face-to-face as it is, so the common and more better idea would simply be to have students back on campus in September rather than having students get several covid tests, move back and social distance – which seems like a lot more stress on their backs.

Wilson also felt the same as most other students by saying “if I went in on the 17th, I literally only have a few weeks left so there isn’t much point in my opinion. Especially as the end few weeks are preparing work to submit.

“I have anxieties about going back in May, but I would feel better returning in September. We have had all this time away from campus that they might as well just finish the year online and start the new year on campus.”

The National Union of Students has said 52% of students’ mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic with only 20% seeking help.

With the way the government has supported; workers, elderly people and schools – you’d think they’d put more support into the mental health of those who are less supported, especially when many students have been stuck in their accommodations and houses alone and unable to leave or see family and friends, in an area that they may not even be familiar with.

There’s no surprise mental health issues have increased, feeling alone and lost with not only the pandemic, but also regarding the Government and what’s to come.

Putting your money and hard work into university when you can’t even live the full experience and access everything you need does take a toll, along with being blamed for the rise of cases and a global pandemic. No young person should deal with that when they’re not being dealt with themselves.

 

Is there a point in students returning at the end of the university semester?

Yes
No
Depends on the course
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