2020 has been quite the year with our Urbanest residents having to deal with many ups and downs, from city lockdowns and moving to online classes to not seeing their family and friends. It’s also allowed them to reflect on life and find joy in the small things such as taking up a new hobby, being able to go for walks in the park and having video chats with loved ones, near and far.
At Urbanest, we understand that it’s been a challenging time for our students and we continue to provide an environment that will keep them safe and happy. We recently held a blog competition and encouraged our residents to share their experience of being a student in Australia during the pandemic.
One of our top entries came from Simran, and international student from India. She’s currently living at our Urbanest property in Brisbane where she’s studying a bachelor of creative studies at Queensland University of Technology. For someone who loves to travel and document different cultural experiences, Simran has felt the impact of state and country restrictions but we admire her positive attitude and outlook on life!
Over to you Simran
Hi, I’m Simran, an Indian international student living in the Australian city of Brisbane.
I came to Australia in 2018 and have grown accustomed to the laid back Australian lifestyle and Aussie slang! While planning my final year of studies, I never imagined that a pandemic was going to change everything.
When I arrived back in Australia in early February 2020, the restrictions weren’t as strict as they are now. We were still allowed to attend classes and events in person – freedom I took for granted.
Come March, the effects of the pandemic started to settle in – universities were moving online, sanitizers were vanishing from markets and the streets were starting to empty out. There was a time when I felt lonely walking around South Bank, the most popular place in Brisbane which is usually bustling with activity.
To think of it now, I missed social contact the most – those short outings during stressful study days, walking with friends alongside the Brisbane River and enjoying a good Barbeque in the parklands.
Although I could now pause lectures and work on my handwriting, attending zoom classes full of blank screens just didn’t feel the same. As the situation was worsening in India, I found myself worrying for my people back home.
Never had I felt more isolated and stressed in my life, all while thinking about this new normal.
I believe that perspective is everything
An individual looks at a glass half empty yet another person may see it as half full. These difficult times have been draining – mentally, emotionally and financially. But they say it takes a great amount of pressure to form a diamond. There have been just as many good things that came out of this situation.
Every night, I play Ludo online with my family in India, which has helped us maintain a happy and peaceful state of mind. A few of my friends organized Zoom lunches to ensure that I was never lonely and I also realised there was a lot of support for students like me.
People were coming together to provide help to those who needed it most. Thanks to Urbanest’s events calendar moving online, I not only found time to reconnect with my hobbies like art and craft; but also won prizes for doing what I love. My university hosted free online workshops for students, where I learnt cooking, painting and developed leadership skills.
Things are getting much better in Queensland thanks to the efforts of the people here. However we still have a long way to go, so let’s stay safe and healthy.
To find out more about the latest updates on procedures in place at Urbanest properties, be sure to read our COVID-19 information guide.