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Life in Lockdown- Amelia’s Story

First Year Law Student at the University of York
March 2020

13 th March 2020
Today I packed up a suitcase and left University to come home for the Easter holidays. I
have left most of my stuff in my room as I won’t be gone for too long. I casually said
goodbye to my flatmates, knowing I’d see them in a few weeks time. I got on the train and
reminisced how incredible second term had been. Scrolling through my camera roll only
made me so excited to go back for the summer term. Just the thought of being able to go
out when its lighter, the long warmer evenings with friends and BBQs on campus. I can’t
wait to go back already and I’ve only barely left!
18 th March 2020
Having had the majority of assessments planned for the summer term (with no teaching
only exams) I am quite excited to be assessed and see where I’m at. Having not done much
revision or consolidation during term 1 and 2, I am looking forward to sitting down and
properly going through everything I have learnt (as weird as that sounds!!). I started today
by writing down the dates of all my exams and prioritising which revision needs to be done
20 th March 2020
This morning I received an email from York Law School stating all First-Year law students will
not have to take any of the Year 1 assessments and I will progress to Year 2 nonetheless. Old
me would have been ecstatic by the thought of not having to sit any exams or revise, but I
realised this probably wasn’t something to be excited about. It eventually dawned on me
that the next time I will be assessed, the grade will count towards my degree.
As I have only done 2 summative assessments for the whole of my first year, I wrote an
email to my PA asking if I could still complete the cancelled assessments and receive
feedback on them. I was frustrated to hear that they could only guarantee I would receive
feedback on one of the assessments. I understand its good practice but if I don’t even know
how I could improve of where I went wrong it will not be that helpful for me. I am not sure
what my £3,000 tuition fee for next term is going towards since I have no teaching and no
exams (and I’m not even paying anyone to mark my cancelled assessments!!)
23 rd March 2020
Boris Johnson announced a full lockdown in the UK this afternoon. I could see it coming but
I didn’t want to think about it. As soon as he announced the news it hit me that the chances
of us returning to university for the summer term was looking slim and even my neighbour
told me today that she wasn’t sure we’d even make it back in September. I hope she isn’t
right. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than second year being affected by this too.
21 st March 2020
With assessments cancelled and all Easter plans now out of the window, I feel quite lost.
Easter would usually be a big family celebration and I would be catching up with friends who
have all come back from University so being stuck in my home with no purpose just isn’t the

same. I am someone who likes to keep busy but right now I have way too much time on my
hands and nothing useful to put it towards. This is frustrating me.
I decided to facetime my friend from Uni this evening. It was nice to catch up but it wasn’t
the same as being in person and made me even more upset about not being able to go back
to York for such a long time.
26 th March 2020
I just worked a shift at my local stables but due to Covid, they are now closing down to limit
the chance of infection. I think I have my last shift next week which makes me even more
concerned about what I will do with my time after that as I won’t be able to ride anymore
and that was the only thing keeping me sane!
31 st March 2020
I have always used exercise as stress relief, particularly last year during A levels so Mum and
I decided to start a new exercising routine to try and give ourselves a purpose! I must admit
this is the perfect opportunity to lose the few pounds I put on from Uni! We shall see how
long this lasts…

April 2020 (series 2)

5 th April 2020

I think Covid might have had one positive impact on me! Today was gorgeous. With such an
awful winter (granted that comes with living in the North but I didn’t think it would be that
bad!) a bit of sunshine and 23 degrees was incredible. I lay in the garden and read a book
(something I have always wanted to do but never really found the time to). I felt particularly
grateful to have open space and my family around me. It made me aware of the fact that it
is unlikely I will ever have this much time on my hands so I shouldn’t take it for granted!
6 th April 2020
Today I received an email allowing me to cancel my third term instalment for my
accommodation. Despite feeling relieved that I can cancel it, there is a part of me that is sad
I won’t be able to go back (except to pick up my stuff- which I hope will happen quickly!). I
slept in my bed and cooked food in my kitchen in halls for the last time without me even
knowing! I can’t believe it is pretty much the end of my first year. I want an official closure,
to say goodbye to my friends properly and to experience my final term in halls but I think,
after today, that idea is out of the window.
11 th April 2020
I had my last shift working at my part-time job at the stables since they are cutting down
staff numbers due to Covid. I’m not sure what I will do with my time now. My mum and I are
still keeping to our exercise schedule though so this will at least give me something to do!
13 th April 2020
I have started my Foundations in Law II essay due on the 21 st April which has been changed
to a summative due to Covid. I have had less of an incentive to complete it and I have been
able to put it off for a while but today was the day that I cracked down and started it once
and for all!
19 th April 2020
Covid has made me realise how important having a structure to my day really is. I am
missing the structure of university which made me a lot more productive than I am now. I
think being at home, having no pressure to complete essays and no burning deadlines has
had a negative impact and I now feel unmotivated. I hope this will change as my essay is due
in 2 days!
21 st April 2020
I submitted by FL2 essay which, although I put in a decent amount of effort, I think I could
have done better. I think that the essay, being a summative, gave me less of an incentive. I
now have no official university work to submit! All of my essays over the next couple of
weeks have been made into summative assessments and my exam week on the 18 th May
has also been made optional and the deadline has been extended to the 31 st August. I know
I should do them and I will do them but finding the drive to actually start is proving to be a
challenge. I can’t believe it has been a little over a month since I did any law! I keep telling
myself that the longer I leave it the harder it will be to pick it back up again- I really have no
excuse not to do these other essays!

26 th April 2020
Today I submitted my blog for the University on how current Year 13 students can use this
time to prepare for University. I am glad the University are requesting us to write blogs as it
is useful to get a bit of money (especially since I don’t have my part-time job anymore) and
it was a good opportunity to rethink what I could really be doing with my time. I hope that
what I wrote will be useful for future students.

May 2020 (series 3)

8 th May 2020
I was meant to have an exam pick-up practise session today in preparation for our exam
week commencing on the 18 th May. Since the exams have been made optional, the session
was cancelled and I am disappointed to see that it was not rescheduled as I would have
liked to have had some sort of guidance on how to approach the task. This has made me
worried for next year when I sit the same style of exam but I won’t have had any practise or
preparation for this style of assessment. I hope that at the start of next term we will receive
some sort of guidance or support for this.
11 th May 2020
Finally, I received something from the Law department! I received an email containing a list
of suggestions on books to read and tasks to complete so I will be ready for the demands of
second year. At a quick glance it looked to be pretty useful so I am grateful that I now have
something to turn to when I am bored or am worrying about what I can do so that I am not
behind next year. Despite this, I still feel as though my exam technique is not up to the
standard that is should be so this still is a burden to me when looking at moving into second
14 th May 2020
Today I mastered a bit of new technology. I used ‘Google Meet’ for the first time as I had a
scheduled meeting with my personal advisor. The meeting was not particularly helpful as
there was not much feedback to be gained as I had only just submitted my FL2 assessment.
Nevertheless, it was still useful to touch base and know that support was there if I were to
need it.
18 th May 2020
Today the exam questions were released for what was meant to be our ‘exam week.’ Having
looked through the questions I am lost as to how go about answering them and how to
divide the word count up in the most efficient way. I am seeing the effects of our cancelled
revision sessions that were meant to prepare and teach us how to answer these style of
exam questions as I am lost and I don’t know how to approach it. I will sit down properly in
the next couple of weeks and attempt to complete the paper and if I am still lost, I will
contact my PA. I am feeling grateful to have some academic support behind me if all else
fails and I am still completely lost!
20 th May 2020
Some restrictions regarding Covid have been lifted today. Tennis courts are allowed to open
which means I can now play tennis with my Dad and some of my friends. I haven’t played in
2 months so I am very excited to get back into it. It’s encouraging to see the gradual release
of the restrictions as it feels like we’re getting back to normal and I am slowly seeing the
light at the end of the tunnel!
29 th May 2020
A few months ago, I completed several applications to attend open days at a number of
different law firms. Fortunately, despite Covid, a number of the firms have been able to

move the open days online. Today I attended one of these virtual sessions. The technology
was challenging at first as my sound didn’t work and I couldn’t hear anything but after I
sorted that out it proved to be a particularly useful day. It was encouraging to see these
companies working successfully despite Covid which gave me hope that University will
hopefully return to normal in September too, albeit in a different way.