Published: 11 May 2020

Learning in lockdown

Emily Baynes, an MSc student in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, tells us how she’s continuing to study and how she’s coping with daily life during Covid-19.

How has the Covid-19 situation affected your life as a student?

I’m now back home in Bristol with my family and that was quite difficult. I’ve been at the University and had friends here for five years. Leaving suddenly and not being able to hug my friends to say goodbye was tough. We were expecting a big finale where term would end and we’d all go to the pub. But we’re still in touch online and we’ll keep the pub date when things go back to normal.

How has it affected your research?

Luckily it hasn’t really affected anything. I’ve got my dissertation to start and I can do most of the research for that on my computer.

How have you continued with your research?

I did online lectures for most of April. But my workload has been pretty high because I have coursework to write up, exams to revise for and my dissertation to write. I’d normally be in the Library with my friends studying, but we’ve found a way to sort of recreate that online. We’ll have a group video call and talk for 15 minutes every couple of hours, then we’ll work and keep the call on in the background, so we can still communicate and support each other if we need to. It sort of feels like we’re working together and it means we’re accountable to each other in terms of completing our respective workloads.

What are you doing to cope with the situation in general?

I’m doing lots of exercise. I get out of the house and take my mind away from my studies and the pandemic situation. I’ve set up my own exercise and training plan, too. Normally when I’m at university, the exercise fits in with my studying. Now I feel I’ve done it the other way around and my studying fits in with my exercise plan. I’m also having lots of phone calls with family and friends. I’m trying to avoid Netflix as the temptation to binge watch is very strong!

Do you have any advice for students in a similar situation?

It’s difficult - the whole situation does make me feel anxious. I’ve turned off the breaking news notifications on my mobile and my computer to help avoid additional anxiety. But I’m trying to view the pandemic as something that will be over at some point. I’m focusing on what we’re going to do when this is over, how we’re going to move out of it, and to think about the future.


Find out more about our postgraduate courses within the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering.

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