Pandemic and the Extrovert

By Riya Agarwal

For me, university is not just an institute where I go to gain knowledge and experience. It’s more like my daily dose of entertainment and when it shut down, so did all of my outdoor shenanigans and social life with it. Now I don’t go to the library, my favorite Café Nero or Backroom club. I have to stay locked in my house for god knows how long, with no physical contact with the outer world. This is exactly what my nightmare would look like!

As an international student, some of my main reasons for choosing to study abroad were to network with people from different cultures, study in a new education system and explore a new place. Going out every Friday night and making lifelong memories with my mates, learning how to take care of myself in a whole new country (even when I broke my foot) and having small arguments with my flat mates is what I signed up for.

Everything was going perfectly in my first year at University of Leeds until a news broke about a student being taken for COVID-19 testing. Panic broke among my Indian friends. After keeping a regular tab on the number of cases in the UK, we realized that the situation is getting worse. Hence, we travelled back to India in a hurry, with all our stuff still in our flats and a little fear in our hearts.

As much as I feel safe at home with my family, I also miss the 9am lectures that I dreadfully attended, my accommodation, lunch times with my friends, the campus and the nightlife. Now, the only highlight of my week is when I get to drive to the grocery shop.

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