Covid, Cambridge and mental health

(63 Posts)
nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 17:22:52

Am really concerned for dd going back this term
College just announced a raft of rules which are just basically leading to social isolation.
Everything online including social events
Bubbles of ten based on corridors ( bearing in mind rooms were chosen last year and not chosen to be near friends , just for amenities) anyone testing positive whole bubble isolates 14 days but they will leave food outside of room
No overnight guests
Family now not your household so social distancing applies
No lingering in food hall or sitting in groups
Only use library if you must plus prebook
If second lock down they have to stay there
But you have to stay 60 nights to keep term , so basically 60 nights sitting looking at the walls .
Might be ok if v sociable with group of friends that like to go out . Dd is very shy and struggles with social anxiety but had a nice small group of friends that would meet up every night for dinner in hall and go to college social events . None of them are social enough to go out to pubs or clubbing etc and I think this group will be hardest hit .
She is now dreading going back , in those circumstances would much rather stay at home with family and boyfriend ( who she won't be able to see once she goes back now)
Seems unkind really
Appreciate they want the money for halls but if they are going to impose these rules then they ought to give students the choice of where they live really
Anyone else concerned !?

OP’s posts: |
DominaShantotto Fri 28-Aug-20 17:44:12

I'm really concerned for the new first years everywhere - I think social isolation and mental health are going to be a huge issue this year with students. I'm not too worried about our second years who generally have already arranged house shares with friends so will have some support network around them, but if I had a child starting this year I'd be worried about them being lonelier than normal feelings of fresher awkwardness till they find their tribe. Adding in limited numbers of face-to-face sessions (we get one day a fortnight) and opportunities to get to know people are going to be really limited.

Our library are doing click and collect - makes the route to knowledge sound like ordering a fucking Argos toaster.

nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 17:53:49

Dd has mainly freshers in her corridor bubble and is going to make an effort to befriend them as she realised how hard it will be for them.
I think Cambridge is a particular anomaly with the majority of all years living in college rather than house shares with friends
They could at least have given them the option to rearrange the room ballot to allow for households of friends , and also to group freshers together in subject bubbles

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Hoghgyni Fri 28-Aug-20 19:29:14

Oxford is avoiding subject bubbles for exactly that reason. They want them to be able to mix and socialise with others in their College and feel that subject bubbles would be too claustrophobic.

Revengeofthepangolins Fri 28-Aug-20 20:44:12

If feel much the same way about my son going back to boarding school - I suspect he will be spending a lot more time alone in his room than usual.

goodbyestranger Fri 28-Aug-20 20:48:14

Surely these kids will just break the college imposed rules? I doubt the colleges seriously expect them to comply.

goodbyestranger Fri 28-Aug-20 20:49:18

Young people should be free to socialise; old people who are concerned for themselves should keep out of harm's way.

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Ironoaks Fri 28-Aug-20 21:00:54

I think Cambridge have a plan for those students whose mental health is likely to be negatively affected by social distancing measures. I'll try to find a link.

Ironoaks Fri 28-Aug-20 21:05:04

Last section on this page

Hoghgyni Fri 28-Aug-20 21:13:13

I think it was Bristol which had some very bizarre rules, including fines for breaching them. Let's face it, although the bubbles will exist for quarantine & isolation purposes, they can't prevent adults from mixing with each other both in & out of their colleges. They'll simply go to the pub or park to meet up.

PatriciaPerch Fri 28-Aug-20 21:19:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 21:23:58

goodbyestranger

Surely these kids will just break the college imposed rules? I doubt the colleges seriously expect them to comply.

Well there’s a list of punishments being published tomorrow!
They captaincy do. Dd and her friends aren’t rule breakers anyway and some you can’t. If you aren’t in college overnight and there’s a fire alarm, you can be in serious trouble

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Malbecfan Fri 28-Aug-20 21:42:43

DD is going into her 4th year and these rules are new to us. She has been told that those on her staircase and floor will form a bubble. They are all 4th years, several of them are on her course so she's fine with that and knows them all anyway. The accommodation block she is in is predominantly for 1st years, but they will be on different staircases and floors. Freshers start later than returning students so I'm hoping that I can park fairly easily for drop-off. She has asked for the day before the drop-off window opens, mostly because it's a 4 hour drive from here each way and DH and I both work Monday - Friday, and they have agreed that she can go early.

nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 21:43:26

Ironoaks

Last section on this page

Thanks for that

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goodbyestranger Fri 28-Aug-20 22:44:41

nearlyoldenough my interpretation of serious trouble may well differ from yours! As Hoghgyni says, these students are adults. Students frequently stay overnight elsewhere with friends or partners - you're making all colleges sound like Girton at the turn of last century! It's a nonsense to expect young people to stay cooped up for the older generation.

goodbyestranger Fri 28-Aug-20 22:48:02

In fact I think it would probably be illegal for colleges to require all students to be in residence overnight every night during term. So piffle to 'serious trouble'.

Pomegranatemolasses Fri 28-Aug-20 22:53:29

Ds is heading back to Cambridge and it doesn't sound anything like you've described. He is in a bubble but has a couple of friends in the same bubble, plus a few people he definitely is less keen on!

He's unconcerned, just glad to be getting back to Cambridge after his six month exile at home. I think a subject bubble would be a really bad idea.

nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 23:03:49

Goodbyestranger 🤣 I actually was at girton , though not the turn of the century ! Yes normally you can obviously, you can be within three miles of what ever the church is in the middle. Her college are specifically saying no one stays overnight in college though. It’s an all girls college so a boyfriend would be just a bit obvious . If you don’t spend the required number of nights in college, they can not let you matriculate so that’s pretty serious. In the q and a today , one girl who is married wanted to stay with her husband and was told she could if they lived together in the three mile radius. That’s how flexible they are !
Pomegranate, I don’t particularly think they need subject bubbles but friendship bubbles would be nice. This is a bubble of ten based purely on room location. Dd will be the only one in her year in this bubble. Rooms were chosen last year , pre covid, and there is no opportunity to change.

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goodbyestranger Fri 28-Aug-20 23:26:24

nearlyoldenough they matriculate after a very, very short period of time. All credit to those who find a gf/ bf in those few short days and get straight onto serial sleepovers out of college, enough to scupper matriculation. Impressively fast workers!

Also, since there aren't fire drills on a nightly basis, who's keeping a tally?

nearlyoldenough Fri 28-Aug-20 23:52:31

goodbyestranger

nearlyoldenough they matriculate after a very, very short period of time. All credit to those who find a gf/ bf in those few short days and get straight onto serial sleepovers out of college, enough to scupper matriculation. Impressively fast workers!

Also, since there aren't fire drills on a nightly basis, who's keeping a tally?

Sorry, my mistake, I meant graduate
Dd won’t break rules, she would be worried that there might be a fire drill and she might get in trouble . However much I encourage her to rebel, she won’t, it’s part of her anxiety issues.
I completely realise that there are bigger problems in the world , I’m just worried that after making herself a little group of friends and a social life at college, she is going to go back to sitting in her room crying and lonely because their whole social life is based on socialising in college , at meals and socials. They can’t even eat together, 2 m apart at tables for different bubbles. None of them drink, I think they have been to a pub once in two years.
I just feel that if everything is online , then there ought to be a little more leeway for students to spend less time there is that’s what they choose.
Just a mum, worrying about her grown up baby !

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sendsummer Sat 29-Aug-20 05:06:30

These rules are an attempt to create the equivalent of households within the university structures of communal living. Otherwise, it is following present national guidelines with common sense to slow transmission and facilitate contact tracing for the population. The restart of universities, schools plus seasonal peaks in respiratory illnesses all together create uncertainty for risks and therefore the rationale for vigilance. Hopefully after this term there will be reassurance and potentially relaxation of at least some of these precautions.

There is social, healthcare, educational and not least economic interdependence between younger and older adults so a system of age segregation does n’t make any sense. Plus the added complexities of computing in segregation from potentially higher risk ethnic groups etc etc.

Nearlyoldenough, in your DD’s case, if she does n’t like pubs then she still has cafes, restaurants and parks, socialising between ‘households’, supervisions, weekends back home etc. Perhaps she could also ask for a ‘household’ swap in the interests of her mental health.

goodbyestranger Sat 29-Aug-20 07:56:02

nearlyoldenough completely understand your concerns. I really only mean that I don't expect the reality to be as severe as the written guidance might suggest.

sendsummer of course there's all sorts of intercourse between the generations but to date the burden of lockdown has been borne disproportionately by the young. It seems way overdue for any older or more vulnerable categories of people to take more of the responsibility for keeping themselves safe in order to allow younger healthier people to get on with life.

sendsummer Sat 29-Aug-20 09:33:16

It seems way overdue for any older or more vulnerable categories of people to take more of the responsibility for keeping themselves safe in order to allow younger healthier people to get on with life.

I understand the sentiment although in my experience young adults and teenagers are getting on with socialising at the moment and I think they will manage fine with some common sense over this next term.

Do you mean that these categories should return to shielding?
From what age group for ‘older’ ? Should the people involved in looking after them also be segregated from the ‘young’.?
Vulnerable’ includes multiple common as well as less common conditions in younger and middle age plus certain ethnic groups. Hospitals, manufacturing, education would be depleted of experienced staff and leadership teams as would other sectors.

hobbema Sat 29-Aug-20 09:34:30

I am very much with @goodbyestranger on this. The reality of a mass of excited, unleashed , champing at the bit young people is that they will mingle and frankly they should be. Janice Turner in today’s Times is writing about what the employment and economic realities are for this generation. Obviously care and consideration and a bit of common sense but let them live!

goodbyestranger Sat 29-Aug-20 10:10:19

sendsummer they are getting on with socialising now but they couldn't for months. The brunt I'm talking about is the shutting down from March. In fact I was issued with a shielding letter in the first issue of such letters, for a blood condition I treat lightly, and I reckon that it's my responsibility to keep out of young people's way not theirs to keep out of mine.

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