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Uni-Life Usage

What Data is Telling Us About Student Life During Covid-19

February 25, 2021

Let’s start off with an understatement;

Student life currently isn’t at its prime.

Awesome, you’re up to speed!

We could’ve just ended the blog there, but we actually do have some really interesting data insights to share. Despite that this academic year will always go down as one of the most ‘interesting’ in history, student life will never stop.

Instead of looking at all the things that were not possible, let’s look at what did still happen the last few months. What were students most interested in? Which activities performed best? How did behaviour change every month? Moreover, how is student life still moving on?

Here’s a pick of our favourite insights.

1. Personal Development

Ever since the hard lockdown, the need for personal development has grown exponentially (which is both a good and bad thing). On the one hand, the fact that so many students are currently struggling is a tough reality, and we all yearn for better times. On the other hand, it’s a great trend to see that so many students are actively seeking help, and that universities are offering as many possible solutions as possible.

On Uni-Life, the number of personal development events has grown exponentially, and for the last three months, personal development was the top interest twice.

Health & Wellness was a noteworthy second best preforming interest, followed by health & wellness, academia and entertainment.

2. Creativity

Despite more and more (and more) regulations, there’s still plenty of activity going on. In terms of online events (i.e. activities that were properly planned, setup & hosted by student associations), there was at least one event every day. That might not seem like a lot, but December and January are generally more calm months because of exams and holidays, even in non-corona years (remember those?).

If we add spontaneous events, this number grows significantly. Lots of students organised small meet-ups or started mini initiatives. We talked about how students started connecting through common passions such as cooking, running or gaming in our last blog, and that brings us to our next insight.

3. Personal

Students haven’t been afraid of reaching out to other students they don’t know. At the TU Delft, over 350 students have already reached out to another student to organise something. Spontaneous events such as “who wants to go for a walk” regularly outperform large, well-planned (and expensive) online events in terms of interest.

Although we all need to respect the regulations, students would much rather meet one other student and keep 1.5 meters distance than do something online again.

Conclusion

If you want to help students get the most out of this difficult time, stick to three things.

  1. Make sure you offer plenty of personal development activities (from informal chats with a buddy to full-fledged programs). Every student seeks support in a different way, so the more, the better.
  2. Let associations & students channel their own creativity. A platform, some support and a bit of guidance will encourage lots of new, innovative solutions.
  3. Keep it personal. As we mentioned in our previous blog, don’t follow the Netflix approach and just let students stare at a screen. Make sure the barriers are low (to encourage people to join) and the initiatives are small (so that everyone is included).

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