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Staying at Barony Campus during a pandemic

By Amy Colliar, first year BSC (Hons) Veterinary Nursing student

Being on campus during a pandemic has certainly been different from the normal circumstances you would expect but has been nothing short of a great experience overall. There are advantages with there being less permanent residents on campus including a guaranteed seat in the canteen and a quiet laundry room! However, there are still multiple opportunities to socialise with each other. The canteen is a great place for socialising as all chairs and tables are socially distanced so you can sit at a table with someone from a different course and be safe. It’s great to speak to everyone and listen to what their blended learning is like compared to mine as everyone is on different course rotations (for example, some people are on campus every week and some others every 5 weeks). You quickly learn everyone’s routines and can be sure when you will next see them on campus.

I have practical course sessions every 2 weeks on a Wednesday which means I get hands on work with the animals on campus and get to see other people from my course – in person! This is one of my favourite parts of the course as it means I can put the knowledge I’ve learnt from my non-practical lectures to use as well as being able to speak to fellow students in the same position with me.

As a full time course student I spend a lot of time studying or in lectures, however, when I fancy a break there’s lots of great walking paths on campus for me to enjoy – it doesn’t take many steps to find a picturesque place here. One really lovely path heads down to the river, which is beautiful on a sunny day – it takes you past the wildlife centre and if you’re lucky you can see the heron in its enclosure. Other routes around campus can take you past parts of the farm which, if you’re from a farm (like me), can feel quite homely. I go on a walk every day with the other girls, who are also staying full time in accommodation, to make sure we all get a break from studying and have a catch up with each other. If I’m feeling particularly energetic it’s great to go out on a run too!

Every few weeks our Co-President, Kevin Hamilton, pays us a visit and sets up loads of activities for us, these range from quizzes to chit chat sessions. When Kevin was on campus the other week our evenings were jam-packed with quizzes, a dingbats night (you might have to Google that if you are my age!) and snacks. All activities are appropriately socially distanced, carried out in the canteen, so we can have fun and stay safe at the same time.

All things considered, during the ongoing pandemic, being on campus and experiencing student life is still a great experience and all staff on campus make sure everyone is well looked after.

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