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Amber: Accepting and adapting during COVID-19

From having to cancel her visit back home to adapting her usual way of studying to finding fun ways to survive iso-life, Amber has faced the global pandemic with a positive attitude. She says she feels safe in Adelaide and is grateful for emergency financial support from Flinders University. We spoke to Amber about how she’s been coping during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Where were you when the COVID-19 crisis began?

I was in Adelaide. I was planning to visit my family in China in February, but I cancelled due to COVID-19. I haven’t seen them in 6 months, but I’m happy they’re safe. To be honest, I probably knew about COVID-19 earlier than most Australians because I had news coming from my parents.  I think this helped me mentally prepare for when the borders closed, and restrictions started.

How has COVID-19 impacted your studies?

The biggest impact has been to my studies.  I couldn’t go to the library to borrow textbooks which made it frustrating to start assignments.  I turned to the online library and my friends and I have been sharing chapters we’ve downloaded.  I’m not a big fan of reading on a screen. I prefer books. But I accept it and try to adapt. Everyone’s in the same situation, and it’s not just me. I’m used to online learning now and feel comfortable with the system and procedures.

Describe how your daily life has changed during COVID-19 restrictions.

I live with my boyfriend. In the beginning we had some worries about how we’d get along both being home all the time. In the end, we did it very well, and I think we love each other more. It’s been good to spend more quality time together.

Have you done anything to help pass the time at home?

We came up with some fun at-home activities to make sure life wasn’t all work and study. We set up an escape room with flashing lights and made up treasure hunt games from ideas we found online. Also, we went camping in our backyard during the Easter holidays. In China, we don’t have this tradition to go camping, so it was fun. I’ve also been developing my interests like drawing and learning how to sing using YouTube tutorials.

Tell us about the financial support you’ve received from your university during the COVID-19 crisis.

Because of COVID-19, I couldn’t go to work at my part-time job. Thankfully, Flinders University offered a student support package and the Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) had some emergency funds. I applied for the new Matthew Flinders Scholarship program and got $2,000. I also got $500 from FUSA and a $50 Woolworths card. It was all really amazing and has helped pay for rent and food.

How do you feel about being in Adelaide during COVID-19?

I think South Australia is doing very well. I feel more positive and think I’ll get to go to university soon. Maybe next semester. It’s not been too bad because we could still go to the beach or outside to walk. I feel safe here. I think South Australia is the safest state in Australia.  

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