April is the key month for university students to begin planning holidays; the limbo period between the start of the final term and exam season, just coming up to summer. Unfortunately, for those students who decided April and before were prime times to book their summer holidays, what seemed a well-deserved celebration of finishing the academic year has now become a house arrest. How do they feel about the sudden change of future? I interviewed a handful of them to find out.

Dan, age 20 – Newcastle University

Where were you going, who were you travelling with, what did you plan to do?

I was going to Bali with some friends, because I’m originally from Australia I was going to meet heaps of other friends out there. We were going to do the same thing everyone does when they’re out there for spring break – drinking lots, enjoying the weather.

What are you doing here to compensate for your missed holiday?

Not drinking as much as I would’ve done which is probably a good thing – it’s not too bad because I’m lucky enough to have a patio so I’ve been getting more into gardening. The weather has been awesome as well.

Sounds like not going has turned out to be more productive, do you think you would have learned these skills had you gone?

I don’t know, probably at some point because I’m enjoying it.

Are you planning on going back next year or is that it for now?

Yes, as soon as lockdown is over I’m getting straight on Skyscanner and booking the cheapest flight out of here.

Frank, age 27 – Leicester University

Where were you going, who were you travelling with, what did you plan to do?

I was supposed to be going to Prague in the Czech Republic – I’ve been a fair few times, it gets busy in the summer. I was going with a few others on an EasyJet flight. I was going to do the same thing as always really, I was going to check out my favourite pub, The Sad Man’s Tongue, and go to the Old Town.

Sounds nice. Did EasyJet refund your ticket? Did you get any other kind of compensation?

Not yet, a refund is still in the works. I’m not relying on the money to pay bills or anything thankfully but I would like the money I paid for the ticket back at some point. I don’t think I’ll receive any compensation.

Are you going to push for it? To what extent do you think the airline is to blame?

I might do, I’ll see how I feel. I probably should push for it. I think all companies are just trying to stay afloat at the moment, I just hope they don’t declare bankruptcy before I get my money back.

Meg, age 20 – UEA

Where were you going, who were you travelling with, what did you plan to do?

I was travelling to Costa Rica on my own because I had a volunteer teaching job waiting for me on the other side.

Cool, what did the agency say when you told them you couldn’t make it?

There’s not a lot that anyone can do at the moment, they’re dealing with their own problems from the pandemic.

Are you going back next year?

Definitely – I’m not going to let this pandemic take away my enthusiasm.

What strikes me from all the interviewees is, despite how excited they were to go away, their excitement did not deteriorate as a result of having to cancel their plans. Although disappointing, it ignited their excitement as something to hope for in the future. As for the present, it seemed to me that most of them were happy getting on with their everyday lives.


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