What I do when I'm not studying
by Aaron Price
There’s no doubt that my university work takes up a large portion of my time, but there’s still plenty of time for me to spend the rest of my available time doing what I enjoy. COVID-19 has had provided some obstacles in terms of what I’d usually like to do, and therefore I’ll be talking about the activities I like to do throughout lockdown. I think it’s important to have a good ‘work-life balance’ to be as happy and productive as possible in these testing times.
Football and exercise
Recent lockdown restrictions mean that recreational sport is not allowed to continue. This is very tough on many people, including myself, as one of the highlights of my week is playing competitive football for my college football team. When I’m at home in Brighton, I also enjoy playing a competitive football match every Sunday.
Despite recreational sport being currently not allowed, elite sport can continue in the UK. This means that professional football clubs can carry on playing matches, and these matches are televised. This certainly makes lockdown a bit livelier, as I’m able to follow my favourite football team: Everton FC. I can watch all the matches on TV, and it certainly helps that Everton are doing well!
I spend most days doing a long run along the Brighton Seafront Promenade. Whilst we’re all in lockdown, it’s a rather liberating feeling being able to get out of the house and being able to stretch my legs.
Talking to friends
Over the last year, I’m sure everyone reading this blog has experienced an online Zoom quiz with their family and friends - and I’m no different. My friends and I enjoy creating and doing quizzes to provide some light entertainment and something to look forward to. Additionally, I’ll occasionally play FIFA with some friends in the evening to unwind.
COVID-19 has also been a great opportunity for me to get back in touch with some old friends and people I haven’t spoken to in a long time. It’s been great to rekindle some old friendships and find out how people are getting on. While it doesn’t exactly compensate for nightclubs, cafés and gyms being closed, it’s great to chat with friends I don’t get to see often enough.
My girlfriend (whom I met at Lancaster) and I are currently a five-hour drive away from each other. Because of UK COVID-19 rules and regulations, we’re unable to see each other in person at the moment. Nonetheless, we’re trying to make the situation we’re in as enjoyable as possible - we try and achieve this through FaceTime calls, playing online games and watching programmes on Netflix Party together.
Applying for Summer Internship schemes
Looking ahead to the summer, I have been applying to various summer internship schemes. This year, internships have been extremely competitive because many companies have rescinded their internship schemes due to COVID-19, so now there are more applicants for fewer schemes.
I am applying to various internship schemes as I would like to add some more work experience to my CV. Also, I would like to have real exposure to the world of work and gain a better understanding of what sort of a career I could have after graduating from university. It would be interesting to see whether some of the skills I’ve developed through academic study can be applied to the workplace.
Throughout the lockdown period, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my CV and LinkedIn profile, writing cover letters and finding suitable internship vacancies. Lockdown has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to think about what sort of work I’d like to do in the summer vacation.
Societies and Clubs
Fortunately, many activities run by societies and clubs have adapted to the ramifications of COVID-19 and are still going ahead. There are still lots of opportunities to get involved and have fun.
I am a keen member of the Debating Society. The Debating Society still provide training and debates virtually, so I can get involved with the society just as much as I would if the activities were in person.
As I mentioned, I am a football player for one of my college’s teams. Unfortunately, competitive football has been put on hold for the time being, but I’m very excited for when I get back to university and can go to training and play matches.
I am also a member of the Lancaster University Running & Athletics Club. Even though I am used to running with my club members in person, there are still running events and social events being run virtually. There are also training videos, time trials and competitive events for the Roses Tournament (an annual sports competition between Lancaster University and the University of York) which we hope is still going ahead later this year.
Aaron is a second year undergraduate at Lancaster University and is studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Lancaster University employs students to create authentic content from a student perspective. All views expressed in this article are those of the students, and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Lancaster University.