Oh to be in Sydney: A tale of two uni experiences

Kayla Nichols is glad to be back on campus. Picture supplied.
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Victorian uni students are bunkered down at home, but in Sydney, they're back on campus. Alisha Centrone reports.

While Sydney University students are on their way back to physical classrooms, those in Victoria are bunkered down for a long semester of home learning.

With university studies being a critical time in many students’ lives, the adjustment of learning from home adds another level of stress to an already stressful time. 

Kayla Nichols, a full-time student at the University of Technology in Sydney, says it’s a relief to get back to uni.

“There were a lot more distractions at home, which I struggled with,” she says. 

“Listening to a teacher on Zoom was very different than sitting in a classroom with them. There’s also not as much student contribution to discussions.”

Kayla says her results suffered.

“Even though it was only one semester at home, I could see the effects it had on my grades.” 

The accessibility of particular computer programs and wifi has also been seen as a barrier to some students’ learning.

Thank Nguyen isn’t happy about extended Hom learning. Picture supplied.

Thanh Nguyen, a student at Deakin University in Melbourne, says her technology at home makes it “more difficult to study” during this time.

“My wifi at home is not very strong, so often my teachers will be frozen and buffering,” she says.

“Being on campus was a lot easier to focus.”

Thanh says she keep reminding herself: “It is what it is, and it can’t be changed.”

“I miss my friends and the classes. Oh and of course, I miss the coffee too.”

There are at least some advantages. “I’d rather be safe at home, than contract the virus on campus. Plus, it means I can attend my classes in my pyjamas,” she says.