By Samuel Badru
It has been 3 weeks since I stopped tapping my Oyster and College ID card. I feel… great! Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a level of anxiety that comes from living in a COVID-19 hotspot city, as well as having family members who work for the NHS and are key workers. Putting all that doom and gloom aside, there are certainly silver linings in the coronavirus cloud.
As full or part-time Londoners, we all know commuting is a prominent aspect of our lives. I live in Romford and I’m based at Paddington Campus. If the new Elizabeth Line didn’t keep getting pushed back, this would be an easy one train. Until then it’s two trains-worth of congested carriages, sweaty armpits, and crying babies with strong lungs.
This social distancing saga has saved me an extra 15-20 hours a week that would have been spent on the TFL. I am a lot more well-rested nowadays, as I no longer have to drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to beat rush hour. Let’s not forget the £177.10 that can rest in my account instead of being exchanged for a monthly travelcard.
These perks ring true for many students, but they are only worth it if our education doesn’t consequentially suffer. Remote learning has its pros and cons that will vary depending on the individual. I can say for myself that lectures are something that can easily be delivered remotely. Many students feel more comfortable typing a question on Zoom than putting their hand up in the middle of their lecturer’s hour-long monologue. I think once the pandemic is in our rear-view mirrors, universities have an opportunity to reflect on whether face-to-face is always the best educational medium.
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