Starting University During a Pandemic

Stipend Ambassador, Eliott Morozova, shares an insight into the first term of university for first year Ambassadors

Coming from a partner school, I had quite a good idea of what ambassador work entailed. When I was applying to be an ambassador, the pandemic seemed to be ending. The restrictions were slowly being relaxed, and I was excited to go out to schools and interact with students. But when I arrived to uni, almost everything was done online. It started with the training day. It felt so strange to be sitting in my bedroom away from home, being told about all the procedures which mostly applied to in person activities. I was working from my old laptop, and the full day of training resulted in the laptop buzzing from exhaustion. As jobs started being posted, it became clear that 90% of them were online. My most memorable opportunities have been the ones where you get to interact with the students, over the Teams chat. It was great but it did not seem to be the same as I imagined. But nothing is.

The social aspect that is advertised as the ‘university experience’ hasn’t really been a reality. Instead, masks and social bubbles of your roommates is the reality. Us going out meant going grocery shopping. Going to lectures is simply rolling out of bed. But this is university as we know it. I always think about how strange next year will be. All the people who started this year will essentially have a whole new set up to get used to. Time management would have to be rethought. It will just be strange, but not as strange as this. Luckily, there are still some memories from this first term, like riding around on the Bird Electric Scooters on the Canterbury campus.

Starting as a new ambassador in this way feels like it a nice way to be eased into the experience. At the moment I can apply to a lot of opportunities as I don’t have to factor in the travel time. But it is really cool to watch as new ways to interact are developed.  But most importantly joining this wonderful team. It feels great to be a part of a community that allows me to do so much good for the community.