The University of Pretoria’s campuses are loved by students for many different reasons. As a result of the lockdown, students could no longer enjoy everything the campuses have to offer. PDBY asked students what they miss most about campus during lockdown, how they are recreating their favorite campus activities at home, and what they will do once they get back to campus.
BEng Industrial Engineering
“What I miss most about campus is being able to get out and being able to be around […] my friends. Since we have to work strictly from home now, I have invested in upgrading my desk [set-up] in terms of my laptop, Wi-Fi and general accessories. I [also] started a new relationship during this time which allowed for a lot of time-consuming activities getting to know this wonderful person. The first thing I’ll do after going back to campus is start to count how much longer I have until I can leave.”
“I miss the Jacaranda trees […] It seems so silly, but when you really are drowning in the middle of the semester, having those Jacaranda trees around […] made me believe in myself a little bit more when it came to conquering the semester. I miss the food. The Cafe Vida red velvet muffin used to make me so happy every time I bought one. […] Lockdown came as I was exploring the campus so that’s another thing I miss[…] I miss the events that were hosted on campus – [the events were] always informative and they were a great way to network. I’m back home for the lockdown and I haven’t lived at home for this long since matric in 2015 so I’ve been taking some time to explore my environment[…] I bake. […] On a more serious note – I follow a very strict timetable. It helps me stay in “school mode”. […] First thing I will do, or at least one of the first things I’ll do, is sit at the Piazza. I never did enough of that. I was always on the go and didn’t slow down and being under lockdown with online learning also not being kind, I’ve also learned that I need to be kind to myself first. […] Another thing I’ll do, is see all my friends. I miss their faces and their energy.”
“I miss having to take an extra jacket to campus so that I can survive the colder-than-my-lecturer’s-heart Centenary aircon, only to skip my next class because I need to defrost by having a drink at Pure with my friends. At home I put my fan on unnecessarily and pretend like I’m in Centenary when watching my lecture videos. Thereafter I make myself a nice cup of tea and look at memes on Instagram and pretend like I’m trying to avoid eye contact with my lecturer who isn’t there. The first thing I will do when I am back on campus is update all my apps on the Tuks/Eduroam Wi-Fi and have a drink at Pure with friends.”
“I guess the things I miss most about campus are the things I’ve taken for granted, even the things that have annoyed me. I miss rushing to campus and almost getting run over by an impatient taxi driver, I miss the warm “good morning” hugs from friends, the rushed and often frustrating walk behind strolling pedestrians as you rush off to your next class, even the [refrigerator-like] lecture hall, Thuto 1-2, and even the awkward walk you make when you realise you’re in the wrong lecture hall. I miss the smell and noise of Coffee Buzz, the Chelsea buns and doughnuts from the Piazza and the promotional events at Student Centre, that often caused us to be late for a lecture. During lockdown I have baked every form of banana bread under the sun and purchased every type of home cappuccino and I continue to bake at least twice a week, because I truly miss the baked goods on campus. I’ve helped with baby-sitting just for some social interaction outside of my household and now, with restrictions easing, I can visit friends and family more often and reminisce about the times when the outside was still the outside.
First thing I would have to do when I return to campus is call up all my friends and set an entire day aside to chill in Coffee Buzz or even on the Aula grass with overpriced coffee and treats and have an intensive, but also much needed, [catch-up] session and then make plans to go day drinking.”