Lockdown: should I stay or should I go?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media

Images courtesy of Ahmed Nishaath on Unsplash

Two UKC students explain where they chose to live for the second Lockdown.

Why I went back home

by Ibraheem Kazi

Choosing to go back home during this second lockdown was never really a choice. It just seemed like the smarter thing to do. Let’s be real, the best thing about living away from home is that everything is on your time. You decide when to wake up, when to eat, when to go out and when to stay home. You have that freedom and that choice. But ever since Boris instigated Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo, that freedom has been taken away from us.

There’s a curfew now, we can’t leave our houses and we can’t choose who we get to mingle with anymore. A big part of the University experience is freedom and right now we don’t have much of it. The simplest solution would be to go home. Of course, at home, we also sacrifice some of these freedoms, but in return, we get a chance to better ourselves by being with our families.

For one, home-cooked meals come a lot more often at home. That’s already a win. I can’t count how many takeaways I’ve ordered since September, but my bank account definitely won’t forget.

Now, obviously there is the argument of rent. Why pay four hundred pounds a month if you’re not going to be living there? Well the answer is actually very simple: Comfortability. I feel more comfortable at home. My bedroom at home is more mine than my room in my student house: I’m lucky enough to have it decorated the way I want it and not from the ‘cheap page of the IKEA booklet’ that landlords seem to worship. It’s filled with sentiments that extend beyond the 1-3 years that University has had to offer me. I know exactly where the comfiest spaces are and where I can be my most productive. With student houses, you think you’ll like living somewhere when you’re getting shown around but actually living there might not live up to expectations.

Obviously, if you’re at your happiest and most comfortable when you’re at University, by all means chase that and try to maintain it. I just don’t think I am.

When an event like a lockdown occurs, finding happiness can be tough, so my advice is, prioritise it. Prioritise feeling happy, safe and comfortable wherever you can.

Why I stayed at University

by Max Halton

I made my choice to stay in Canterbury instantaneously as soon as I heard hearing the news. Despite only living about two hours from Canterbury, the prospect of hauling my stuff back home when I had only just moved back a couple of months ago, was not something that appealed to me.

I have found also that since moving to the Uni Of Kent, going back home for extended periods of time has been somewhat of a strange experience.

For the past three years I have acclimatised to the independence that University has bestowed upon me, so returning home is a complete depletion of that independence. I am not suggesting my house in Essex is run under a dictatorship, but I do not feel as ‘free’ as I do at University, even with a national lockdown in place. Here in Canterbury, leaving your room a mess or occasionally neglecting to eat your vegetables is not seen as the hate crime it is perceived as back home.

Attempting Zoom classes in a crowded house would be futile, particularly when my brother is next door on his PlayStation shouting obscenities into his mic. Besides, University and home are two different things; they’re wholly separate, and I don’t want to go back and blur the lines between the two. Instead, by staying in Canterbury during the lockdown, going back at Christmas will be relaxing will be all the more gratifying, as I know all my coursework will be handed in and I won’t have any lectures and seminars whilst I am there.

I appreciate that the ‘University experience’ is somewhat on hold at the moment but living in your own house in a different city is something I might not be able to do for a while after graduate, without the luxury of student loans. I have all the time I want to go back home but my time here at University is finite and I want to make the most of it.

Besides, I actually have an Amazon package coming next week and don’t want to miss it.

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