Why the Robbo feels the most like university

With campus shut down, music editor Dom Lee considers elsewhere

Dominic Lee
16th December 2020
Image: Stephen Richards on Geograph
The first term of the 2020-21 academic year has felt very odd, to say the least. With lectures and seminars being delivered remotely, campus has been left deserted. Save for a couple of weeks in the Courier office, the only time I would've seen the iconic arches would've been on a walk.

As a result it's been pretty hard to get a sense of what my university experience was exactly, and where I was getting it. My bedroom certainly didn't feel all that much like a "uni" space, considering the mess and the sadboi band posters covering the walls. Neither did Jesmond, since over lockdown 2.0 it became a ghost town, save for the never ending queue outside Tesco on Acorn Road.

So with seemingly nowhere to go that felt like university, I turned to my first great love: the Robbo. The Robbo was my saving grace, not just during lockdown 2.0, but even before and after. It was the only place I felt like I could get any uninterrupted work done. I often walked there with friends or my flatmate, too. That made it feel like I was doing the walk to lectures as I would've done in years past.

It was nice to see random people again, and go somewhere that felt busy and somewhat normal. It's refreshing after seeing a limited amount of people for months to see faces that you don't know and will probably never see again. Obviously it was different to the way it was. You had to book a seat to get in, and everyone was spaced out. You had to collect books rather than just grabbing them from the shelves. Still, it was close enough, and that was good enough for me. Thanks Philip: I don't know what I'd have done without you!

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