Hundreds of Abertay University students have been told to self-isolate. Here, one fresher recounts their experience

I was on a group video call with my new uni friends when we got the email. “No! Why? Come on!” we were shouting when we read the news: our university accommodation in Abertay University was being locked down.

As of yesterday, the 500 students in Parker House accommodation have been told we could have to self-isolate for two weeks after a confirmed case of Covid – the flatmate of someone I know, who had been self-isolating for a couple of days until he got the results. 

I’ve only been at university for two weeks. Last week was Freshers’ Week. My flatmates are fairly introverted – they don’t really go out much and as there are no proper freshers events (everything is online), that hasn’t been much of a problem. Instead, I’ve made new friends on Microsoft Teams – and a group of 20 of us from Parker House have a group chat going. 

We have only ever met up in person in groups of six because of the guidelines – and if we don’t follow them, well, the police station is right outside our window!

Last week, I was going with friends to restaurants and exploring Dundee. In the evening, I went to other people’s places for meals.

I’m very aware that only being able to meet in small groups means my uni experience isn’t like that of previous years – my sister, who is four years older and went clubbing all the time, has told me how things are meant to be. But it’s been completely different for my cohort, especially with this week’s developments.

I’ve been taking the Covid guidelines seriously, but I don’t think other freshers have been. There are people in Parker House who haven’t followed the guidelines. I heard from a friend that a flat of sports students organised a party with over 30 people – which is obviously way over the limit.

It’s really frustrating hearing stories like that when the rest of us have been trying hard to follow the rules. It seems really unfair. Those people are just going to ruin it for everyone else – which obviously they have, because now there’s been a breakout and we’re all stuck indoors for two weeks. 

I feel pretty bad about having to self-isolate for a fortnight when we’ve been in lockdown for such a long time already. I lost half of my last school year, and we were all just happy that we finally got to talk to other people apart from our parents. 

Now, we’re not allowed to leave our flats – or even go into our flatmates’ rooms. We can’t even go out for a food shop, but at least the uni is setting up a Tesco Delivery service for us; Reception staff will take in our deliveries and leave them outside our doors. To be fair, the university has been been really organised.  

They’ve given out tests to everyone in Parker House – and mine has just been collected – and once all of the tests have been completed and checked, hopefully the people in flats which have all tested negative will be able to go out again – although that’s not definite yet. 

Until then, I won’t be able to go on campus – which I did for the first time the day before yesterday. Everything was super clean, the desks were well spread out, and everyone had to wear masks in the classrooms and building. It was done really well.

But for now, we have to work from home again. All of our social plans have been put on hold – my friends and I were supposed to go to a pizza place this week, and that’s obviously been cancelled. Naturally everyone is extremely frustrated – especially my flatmate; he was planning to go back home to Glasgow to see his family this weekend.

Today was our first day of being fully locked down. I woke up a bit late, and I’ve been playing Minecraft with my friends in Parker House, speaking to each other on our headsets. It’s just a way to pass the time because we can’t really do much else. We’ll follow the precautions, and just hope that we can get back to our normal lives soon.

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Coronavirus, Student, Abertay University, Dundee, Dormitory

World news – GB – Help! I’m one of 500 university students in strict (and very boring) quarantine in Dundee

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