The Speaker
Monday, 24 June 2024 – 07:25

The Stay At Home Diaries: Hannah Smith

Today’s Stay At Home Diary comes from Hannah, a student of Biomedical Science.

This article is part of our series, ‘The Stay At Home Diaries’, published every day of the partial lockdown in the UK amid the Coronavirus pandemic. To find out more about this series, click here.


I am a 1st-year Biomedical Science student at the University of Birmingham. This degree is designed for me to eventually progress into being a biomedical scientist, and carry out research in a field of health and disease of my interest. Particularly, with the COVID-19 pandemic occurring at the moment, I have been told that people like me are needed more than ever, and it is inspiring watching countless staff and students at the Birmingham Medical School work to tackle this pandemic. Hopefully, I’ll be told soon whether there is anything voluntary I can do to help. Unfortunately, my exams were cancelled the other day; although I am glad I don’t have to experience the stress of doing them, I feel like a lot of the hard work that I have put in the last year has gone to waste, particularly since my course is not very coursework heavy, and I’d liked to have had the chance to assess where I was at.

But what can be done about it? I am still ploughing through with any outstanding coursework deadlines I have and am collating my notes together for the end of year assessment, whatever format it may be in. The challenges of working from home are distractions, it’s hard to get a quiet environment, and I often have the urge to go and procrastinate. Working from home is challenging, as I would often head to the university library in order to be productive, but obviously, that’s closed now. Perks of working from home are that I can work whenever I want, and at times, it gives me something to do. My plans for the next few months are tentative, I would like to volunteer to help in a medical setting if that is at all possible. I am also a qualified tutor, so hopefully, I will find some people to tutor before long!

As someone who often stays at home, I regret saying ‘no’ to many social events, as now I just wish I had the freedom to go out and do them! I spend my days trying to do something productive to do with my degree. I am also using this time to practice songwriting on my keyboard and I plan to write a book (and some fanfiction!) However, staying at home has also given me a good excuse to play the Sims and watch as many episodes of Holby City and Absolutely Fabulous (tragically, I’m a massive fan of the shows) as possible on the iPlayer. To pass the time, I definitely would say my favourite thing to do is watch the TV shows I listed above, but I feel like a more productive pastime is to be creative, and I am looking forward to seeing what people produce during this time.

After the pandemic, I am looking forward to seeing my friends again. I left university rather quickly, and I miss the place a lot, but I also plan to meet up with my friends as well and go out somewhere (anywhere) just to catch up. I’m also looking forward to having some belated birthday celebration, as having a birthday in quarantine is no fun. However, this pandemic has made me realise how much medical professionals are needed and has inspired me to do a postgraduate degree in medicine or train to be a clinical scientist.

As this is a difficult time for all, I just want to say, look after yourself and take care. And finally, thank you to all the essential workers in this country, we could not do it without you!


  • Britons have been told by the UK government that they must stay at home, apart from some very limited exceptions. For further information, check
  • For our latest coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic and for links to official health information, check our Coronavirus page.
  • For advice on how to manage your mental health during these difficult times and for links to support, click here.
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