(Read Parneet's first blog on this topic here https://www.uolprobono.co.uk/post/blog-by-parneet-grewal)
I’m in second semester now and I have become accustomed to the way of remote learning. I was supposed to go to the UK this semester but because of exams being in January and the COVID restrictions being so tight, I decided to stay in Canada. I had paid my deposit for my accommodations and I had also signed a contract, which made it difficult to stay in Canada. I had also heard many horror stories from the second-year students as they experienced similar situations the year before; one of my friends had told me that the company she signed a rental contract with was threatening to sue her for not following through with the contract - which made me even more hesitant and scared for terminating the contract with the company I had signed with in order to stay in Canada. However, after extensive research on my renting rights in the UK, and some help from my friends, I was able to explain how I did not have the right to rent and the company was not allowed to rent to someone who does not have their student visa for the UK yet. I was able to get out of my contract without any issues; the company also willingly returned my deposit, which is usually unlikely and not something one would expect.
Other than that, I am somewhat happy I stayed in Canada for my first year. I’ve made some great friends within my program and year; so now when I attend in person, I won’t feel as if I have no friends. While being in Canada, I have also been able to work with the Insight Project, which has been a great learning experience and I have been able to make some friends through that as well. It has definitely still been difficult studying from home because of the responsibilities that come with living at home, but I find that after my last post I was able to draw boundaries between various parts of my life. I have been able to prioritize school the way I had hoped to, and that has not come easily because I usually am reluctant to say no to social gatherings or other events. With this balance being established, I find that it will be easier to move to the UK.
I have spoken to some of my friends in the program, although we were all experiencing strain during the first semester, I find that we have all been able to find a balance between all other aspects of life and school. Now the most stressful part is having to move in September of 2022 and having to rent a place, but first even being able to locate a place that is good enough to rent. But with all that, I remind myself that (although only 8-10 months) this is a big part of my life and this experience will allow me to differentiate from those around me. I look forward to September and I find myself far more excited now, compared to before.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss