‘My First Year experience at La Trobe in 2020’

Hi! My name is Sasha Judith Vaz. I am a student at LaTrobe University pursuing my Master of Communication (Journalism Innovation). I have completed my first year of post-graduate studies and I am very excited and looking forward to my second year.

The whole COVID-19 situation has been very difficult for every single person, especially with the lockdown here in Melbourne. Initially, I was not keen on studying online at all but overall, I enjoyed the process and surprisingly liked studying online much more than I thought I would. I saved travel time and money, I could do all my work and be ready in 5 minutes for an online lecture or I could also watch a recorded session on the LMS. All together there are a lot of advantages of studying online.

I personally did not face any challenges as such. The only problem sometimes would be network connectivity in between online lectures, but I could not do much about it. La Trobe adapted to online learning as soon as the lockdown started. Everything was organized and explained, student support was available in different forms around the clock and other support services were organized. I constantly communicated with friends and family so I would not feel lonely. We would get together every weekend to have a chat via Zoom or House party.

I started doing yoga and meditation during the lockdown. It helped me focus and stay calm, I also did a lot of exercise and walking because I could not sit at home the entire day. I think this kept me going and I did not feel bored at home. I got healthier with minimal effort and will continue to have the same routine in the future

Coming out of lockdown feels like freedom. Every single person in Melbourne, was waiting for the government to lift the lockdown. All this while we were at home and it felt like being isolated from the whole world but now its such a relief to be able to go out and meet people in our neighborhood and friends.

If everything goes well, I just hope we get back on campus at some stage next year. That is the only thing I am really looking forward to. It’s been a real struggle for every individual, and I hope everything goes well in the coming months.