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On Campus in the Pandemic: Alan Lau

It’s safe to say that 2020 didn’t go how anyone planned, especially not students. We chatted to some of our residents to find out what studying in a pandemic was like, and their experience with Campus Living Villages. ##Alan Lau Alan Lau was a first year student that stayed at Western Sydney University Village whilst studying Medicine in 2020. ###What was it like to be a student during a pandemic? It was rather difficult in the beginning as the shift from face to face study to online mode was really hard, but I got used to it quite quickly. Overall the experience was not the worst as I could make the most out of my free time. I’m grateful that I planned my time wisely and made the most of the year, despite the inconvenience. ###What were your biggest challenges studying during a pandemic? 2020 was my first year and I was supposed to meet more people during the year. Lockdown really had an impact on my social life, hence general well-being. ###What were your biggest worries or concerns during the pandemic? Not being able to see my friends and family back at home. To compensate for that, I keep in touch with them by video calling them every day to stay in touch. ###What was living at Western Sydney University Village like during the pandemic? I stayed in touch with the new friends I made at the Village. It was good because we were close to each other so we could meet up and chat about the day - it was good to stay close to my friends. The staff have been really understanding and supportive. Having people around you makes sure they look after you. Especially with group activities, the Village was very supportive of us. There were small gatherings and I got to meet wonderful people living at the Village. I stayed connected with them by organising small trips once restrictions were lifted. The soup kitchens had brought many people closer and I really enjoyed this activity a lot. I got to meet a lot of new people. ###What was the best thing about staying in the Village throughout the pandemic? Getting close to people and becoming good friends with them was the best thing about it and I am very grateful for it. ###What are you looking forward to in 2021? I really hope the restrictions become less strict and I will be able to meet more people and make the most out of my course, for example participating in volunteering and projects. Apart from that, I hope to build stronger friendships with my new friends.

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