The Speaker
Sunday, 21 July 2024 – 09:18

The Stay At Home Diaries: Jack Crockford

This Stay At Home Diary comes from Jack Crockford, a student at the University of Bristol. 

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


I am writing this diary entry in my garden underneath a small cherry tree. The sun beating down on me, I can hear children in the garden next door splashing about in a paddling pool.

Like thousands of other university students across the UK, my first year at the University of Bristol has been cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak. The university closed one week early for Easter break, libraries and cafes have shut, and public transport limited to only the most essential travel. Unlike many international students, I am fortunate enough to have the ability to travel home, courtesy of my dad who agreed to make the four hour round trip to collect me.

Packing up my room I had only unpacked a few months earlier, in a way I feel cheated out of my first year of university education. With the UCU strikes, the Coronavirus outbreak, and not to mention the low level of contact hours you get as a non-medical undergraduate as it is, it feels as though my time at university has been cut short, and my newfound friends I have made in halls wrenched away from me for six months. Obviously, I understand shutting down the university is the right thing to do amid a global pandemic, but that can’t help me feeling a little disappointed that this is how the first year has concluded. I imagine it is much worse for third-year students though, with the dissertation deadline looming and academic staff appearing on a screen rather than in real life.

Back home, I’ve mainly been doing the same as everyone else. Due to social distancing and government requirements to stay at home, I’ve been doing as I’ve been told – reading books and going on my regimented daily walk, with a sprinkling of the odd Breaking Bad episode here and there. I’ve even tried cutting my own hair but ended up looking more like Kirk Sutherland than Jesse Pinkman. The current book I am reading is the phenomenal diaries of Adam Kay recounting his tales as a junior doctor in ‘This is Going to Hurt’. Long hours, relatively low pay and a huge responsibility, I can only imagine the stress doctors and nurses are going through at the moment.

In my warm garden writing this diary entry, I feel far removed from the panic and threat of coronavirus. Bored and often frustrated that I cannot go out and meet my friends, it is at least comforting that we are all in this together. As summer nears closer the weather will get hotter, but by staying at home we are all doing our little bit to stop this virus from spreading. As Helen Keller said: ‘Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much’.


  • 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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