My Experience as a Commuter Student during Lockdown – Serena Kutty

Hello everyone!

I’m Serena, one of your Student Voice Ambassadors, and today I’m going to be writing about my experiences as a final year law commuter student during the new lockdown.

2020 had been an extremely tough year for everyone, whether you are a student or otherwise. However, students in particular were left in an extremely unfortunate position throughout the year, with some students being left in the unfortunate hands of an ‘algorithm’ that had the ability to decide their future, or other students such as first years were left with a virtual fresher’s experience.

For me, my status as a commuter student to Reading definitely left me in a unique position, where I was not able to visit university as much as I wanted. Here’s a few words about how my experience was during the pandemic, and how the University supported me during this tough time.

My experience visiting university

As a commuter student, I generally tended to visit university to use the library to study. After the lifting of the first lockdown in the summer of 2020, I was able to visit the university sporadically to get a head-start on readings for final year. When I visited the university, I noted that everything was different – there was sanitiser stations across the campus and special zones that were created to make social distancing easier.

At the library, the staff made everyone feel safe by providing disinfectant wipes and regular cleaning schedules, while the booking system also prevented congestion. Even though I didn’t visit the university regularly, I still felt extremely safe and protected during my visits.

Support from the university

The university has also given me a lot of support during the pandemic. As for my course, my academic tutor informed me of a bursary scheme for law students that are unavailable to purchase books, which seems really beneficial.

The law department has also offered the opportunity for regular meetings with members of the faculty, to offer support and guidance whenever necessary. Even though I am a commuter student, this support was given remotely to make it safer and also more convenient for everyone.

The university in particular also gave support for all students during the pandemic. There was a helpline available for anyone that needed someone to talk to, as well as new testing facilities available in the SportsPark for students to use. Lastly, there is also an abundance of support available on the Wellbeing Toolkit page on the Essentials page.

That’s all for today’s blog! Hopefully this helps clarify some the of the support options available for all students, at the University of Reading, especially for commuter students!

Thank you for reading today

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