Back on campus, but are we back to normal? 

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Hello Ms. Purell, having a busy morning I gather? lee lim

Read what the students say on their social life in the latest for Carillon on the move

Coming out of the pandemic and returning to full-time classes has been a shock for many students. A study from Queens University found that 56 per cent of students reported feelings of loneliness and isolation as a problem early in the pandemic. 

Universities also have the additional pressure of providing the ‘university experience’ that many students are looking for, which couldn’t happen over the pandemic. A University Affairs survey in Canada found the thing students missed the most was in-person classes, followed second by socializing with friends from school. Surprisingly, going to parties came in second last, well below attending class.  

Socially-engaged students also reap academic and career benefits of increased networking, higher grades, and improved well-being. Coming off the University of Regina’s first full semester back, I decided to hit the streets and talk to students about how their social life is recovering and to gauge their satisfaction with the renewed social life on campus.  

Ian, first-year student 

“I have been thinking of joining like a film club or something to do with political debates or something, but I haven’t seen anywhere where you can sign up. I’m not really sure where you can actually go and find these clubs because, they’re not on the website. I’ve checked. And then there’s no other like bulletin board saying clubs or something.” 

Ivan, first-year student 

“I met quite a bit of people through the Physics Students’ Society. Student societies are quite nice. I joined multiple and some of the clubs. Meeting people was fairly easy, but only through like societies and niche interests. It’s hard to meet people from different fields of studies unless you go to like the Lazy Owl or the gym. […] For at least a year I probably will do dorms, because that gets you into this little group of people with different interests and you can find friends easily.

Even just networking makes it easier from that one group of people, like you meet the friends of the friends of the friends. The social events from the Students’ Union [are] pretty good, which people from multiple different faculties could come in there and socialize. But it also doesn’t pop out to you right away. You have to kind of look for a little bit.” 

Ebuka, first-year student 

“I live on campus, so the RAs are very helpful. I have been treated racially [racialized] by my skin; a boy questioned my knowledge, [and] they pushed me out of the discussion. […] So, yeah, racism exists here sadly.” 

Babitbalsingh, first-year student 

“I’m from India. Overall, the university has a nice environment. I believe I am going to make many friends, and friends for a lifetime.” 

Aliz, second-year student 

“It’s much better than Discord. I think it’s much better than what COVID-19 had, being far away from instructors, peers, and access to books, libraries, other things. I do want to play soccer and I see there’s maybe some activities in eSports as well as sports. There’s 10,000 coffees, which is nice to engage and meet other peers. And one thing I do find, I think the group aspect could be made easier to access.” 

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