I’d like to start by saying that I understand the frustration felt by students world-over. Time and time again we are to blame for whatever social crisis is at play and COVID is no different. Whenever I scrolled through my twitter feed earlier this year I’d find some middle-aged person complaining that young people, students especially, were the main spreaders of COVID and that we should stop being so selfish and think of our elders.
On the one hand, in my personal experience of going out to pubs, bars and cafés, it is middle-aged people that are the worst. The worst, that is, at wearing their masks beneath their noses, or not even bothering to at all.
Then, on the other hand, there were times over the last twelve months, particularly during the lockdown over January to April this year, where I would have to agree: students were being irresponsible and making it worse for the remainder of the population.
Before I go any further and get to the crux of it, I have absolutely no qualms with those who went to see friends at their flats for coffees, catch ups, and well-needed hugs. I did it and felt a million times better for it. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
However, something I found hard (and still do) to understand was those who continually hosted flat parties and raves, inviting 40+ people each time. It felt like a kick to the stomach. Seeing social media stories of people crammed into a tiny student flat week in, week out. If we had all chosen to bend the rules to our own shape then we would be in a much different and far worse position.
That’s what doesn’t feel fair. There was an Edinburgh student body that I was meant to be a part of but it was split into two halves, those who were behaving and those who were not. The decisions of those in the first half were for the benefit of those in the latter!
Throughout the months at the beginning of this year I felt plain let down by some of my peers. Again if it was a movie night with a couple of friends and a glass of wine, I don’t care! There is always a margin for mental health support like seeing your friends. However, when it was the third flat party of the month I felt a little different, mostly angry and confused at how people could be so selfish and uncaring? Eventually the same group of students would complain about having a bad reputation… BITE ME.
Spring and summer brought sunshine and relief as lockdown ended and hanging out was decriminalised. Over the past five months I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself, eating out with friends, dancing in bars, and not feeling so uptight. I hope everyone else has enjoyed their summer, and congratulations if you managed to escape to somewhere hot and sunny!
I have just one favour to ask as we begin the new semester. Please be considerate of those around you this academic year. While the rules now permit anything and everything (as it stands currently) please be aware of those who aren’t ready to go clubbing, or who aren’t ready to come to a flat party with 29 of your other friends. Without being yet another person shouting out rules for students to follow, get tested regularly. Get vaccinated if you haven’t already. And finally, please be kind and considerate to others. Let’s go into the new academic year feeling united as students.
Image via Vecteezy