Lockdown Woes

By Charlotte Woodard

It’s Day 159 of being locked in my halls of residence at Manchester university. Sounds weird that I’ve been counting but my flatmates and I have been keeping track prison-style by tallying the days off on a whiteboard. It helps us remember what day it is as our body clocks have become confused due the lack of sunlight.

Image courtesy of Wix

The university really does care about our health and well-being though. For example, they’ve provided us with windows that we can open when it gets too stuffy in the flat. Unfortunately, they only open about three inches (for unmentioned reasons) but at least we still get fresh air. Also, I’ve learnt about the importance of exercise for my health. I can’t do workouts at home due to the lack of space in my bedroom and the kitchen is too messy, but I’ve learned to love my daily walks. I can’t go outside of course but when I want to take a stroll, I order takeaway so I can walk downstairs to collect it.

I was originally quite worried about my social life being impacted as first year is all about meeting people but luckily, I get on really well with my flatmates. I also have a few friends on my course that I’ve met via Zoom. I wouldn’t know who they are if I saw them in real life as they like to keep their cameras off during lectures but at least I can talk to them if I have a question. We’ve made really good friends with the campus security guys outside our accommodation (Steve and Paul). When we’re desperate they do our Aldi shops for us and chuck each item through the window one at a time. I’ve learnt to only ask for soft items though as I still have a blackeye from when the tin of baked beans hit me in the face. Also, top tip: Only ask for beverages in plastic bottles. One time we attempted to catch a bottle of Vodka and we’re still finding glass shards on the floor. We no longer walk into the kitchen barefoot.

I’m so glad that I chose to get the university experience rather than go on a gap year with my friends, who are currently riding elephants in Thailand. Would be a shame if a tsunami hit them. My parents were a bit worried about spending nine grand on online learning, but the university promised we would still get the same quality of teaching. We still get so many amazing opportunities. For example, this Friday we have a virtual field trip to the zoo for my ‘Biology and evolution’ module. Even though my terrible WI-FI caused the computer to lag and the screen looked kind of glitchy, it was still great to see incredible animals like rhinos. Or hippos. I couldn’t tell. It’s a shame I can’t visit the area around the university a bit more, but my mum grew up in Manchester and said it was better that I stay inside.

My flat-mates and I have decided to live together in second year. Obviously, we can’t go inside the house and look around, so we’ve been doing virtual tours and I think we’ve found a house and it’s really close to campus! It looks a bit run-down and cramped and it doesn’t have a washing machine, but the landlord assured us all these problems would be sorted out by the time we move in and he seems really trustworthy.

Despite this year not being what I expected, at least I have an interesting story to tell my grandchildren. That is if I manage to find anyone at this rate. My mate managed to secure a date once lockdown was over with a guy in the flat opposite. About time. They were communicating via post-it notes for ages before she gave him her snapchat. It was a really romantic moment when she finally crafted her snapchat name on the window in neon-pink post-its. But we had to take it down after a while because she kept getting weird people adding her.

I’m sure they’ll let us leave Manchester to go home for the holidays. We’ve been given a travel window, so I need to book a train. I’ve just got to pack up most my stuff from my room. Also, we need to wait for the university to de-electrify the fence surrounding the accommodation.

Views expressed in InQuire's satire articles are those only of the writer and InQuire does not endorse any of these opinions, this section is dedicated to entertainment purposes only. We use fictitious characters in our stories, except in regards to public figures being satirised directly.

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