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NEWS > Alumnae News > Uni with a difference - Notes from a Pandemic

Uni with a difference - Notes from a Pandemic

After experiencing Year 12 in the historic year of 2020, Isabella Greenhalgh ('20) shares what her first year at university has been like amid a lockdown.
5 Oct 2021
Alumnae News
Isabella Greenhalgh (top row, 2nd from left) at HSC Morning Tea celebrating the Class of 2020
Isabella Greenhalgh (top row, 2nd from left) at HSC Morning Tea celebrating the Class of 2020

We asked several of our alumnae to reflect on their experiences over the past two years and were delighted to hear of the many contributions and achievements they've been making in their different fields. Recent graduate Isabella Greenhalgh weighs in with an insight into university life in lockdown for our series, 'Notes on a Pandemic.'

This year has not been what most of us expected, and that is certainly true for me as well. I started my first year of a combined Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, having graduated from Loreto Normanhurst last year.

Fortunately, in the first semester, our tutorials and labs were on campus, and we got to have in-person events, giving all of us first year students a chance to make some new friends. However, since lectures would have involved having hundreds of people in a lecture theatre, all of our lectures were over Zoom, some pre-recorded and some live. 

Sadly, on the last day of my Semester 1 exams in June, the announcement was made that Sydney would be going into lockdown. This ultimately meant the end of on-campus university for me this year, not that I knew it at the time. It has certainly been challenging to do Zoom tutorials and lectures for such an extended period of time, but I think the hardest part has been the loss of the social element that is such an important part of the university experience. I definitely miss walking around campus and chatting before class.

Despite this, there have been positives; it has been easier to pace the online work for myself, and virtual events like trivia have been a fun experience. I’ll certainly never forget the unique experiences that have formed 2021 – including making the decision to get the AstraZeneca vaccine almost as soon as it became available for my age group. After nearly two years of some form of restrictions, I can’t wait to go out and enjoy post-COVID freedom.

Last year, going through the Sydney lockdowns, I never would have predicted that 2021 would bring with it such a long lockdown. We all thought last year was a tough one for Year 12, but I know that this current year group has had an especially difficult time. So if I could give some advice to Year 12, it would be to make sure you have something exciting planned for the break after the exams to motivate you through these last weeks, and look forward to the opportunities that will come your way in 2022.

Isabella Greenhalgh ('20)

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