There’s recently been a lot of talk about whether we should be going back to campus or not. And everyone’s already heard the typical boring arguments about social distancing BLAH BLAH BLAH. I’m not here today to continue advocating for these issues (if you want to hear about them just go and read any mEAniNgfuL CoNFesSiOn from UoA Meaningful Confessions). Instead, I’m today going to be bringing up the marginalised (but in my opinion) much more important reasons as to why staying online is the better option for this semester (I joke, please wear a mask and keep away from each other).
Firstly, from an economic perspective, staying at home is just so much kinder to your wallet. Each day I don’t go to uni, I’m saving $5.40 for the bus fare, $4.50 for my below-average shaky coffee, and $7.20 for a pie, corntos, and diet coke from Munchy Mart. This comes up to $17.10 each day, $85.50 each week, and $342 total for the remainder of the semester! Whether it’s a new pair of AirPods or 342 frozen cokes, there are much better things that I could be spending that money on.
The second reason staying online is better, is just because it saves you so much time. Especially with social distancing measures on busses and the damaged Harbour Bridge, getting in and out of the CBD is going to be a complete nightmare. Auckland’s traffic is already bad enough as is, and the 2020 curse just makes it that much worse.
And last but not least, can we please just acknowledge how truly miserable it would be to attend campus under the current conditions? As soon as I get to uni, I just start thinking about all of the better things I can be doing at home and start getting just a little bit sad. I could just watch lectures from the comfort of my own bed. I wouldn’t have a mini panic each time I hear a sniffle, and best of all, after peeing I could actually wipe with toilet paper that doesn’t feel like sandpaper.
Dawn Freshwater, if you happen to be reading this, the choice is obvious. Keep uni online.
Celine Goh, First-Year Representative
I’m sick of being enclosed in these walls. I’m starting to see faces in them. Studying at home sure takes a toll on you, regardless of whether you would actually go to campus or not. Just having the choice of returning to campus would be freeing, and I’d sure like to feel freer at the moment.
I think most people are like plants. They need sunlight and fresh air to grow. I don’t plan to speak for the entire student body, but I think a lot of us aren’t getting that now. Sure, I told myself at the beginning of lockdown, I would leave my house at least once a day. That hasn’t happened, and I think I’m doing as well as houseplants do in all-male flats. It will feel like a return to nature when university is populated with students, and you’re forced to get at least some fresh air every day. Seems good to me.
Many share my sentiment on zoom lectures; It’s pretty hard to pay attention to them. I feel quite the pressure from all my notifications on my desktop that just never seem to go away. And I think it’s never been easier to find something else to do, whether it be fiddling with your chair settings or completing some life admin. It’s even worse when you have to somehow bother to remember to play the recorded lectures your lecturer uploads – there is always something better I could do with my time than that. At least when you’re in a lecture, there’s nothing for you to worry about other than the learning. Or maybe I’ve just got no attention span. Maybe it’s not true that it’ll get better when we go back on campus, but at least I can keep telling myself that for the time being.
Chenchen Huang, Vice-President