Two University of Sheffield students share their opinion on the rule of six and how it will affect students living in halls.

The rule of six just means that social responsibility is key.

Rahul Warrier:

A lot of the fun and excitement during university comes from socialising with friends – whether it be in lecture halls, house parties, or clubs. The coronavirus pandemic has made most people – responsible people anyway – much more wary about socialising. The latest government rules make it illegal to gather in groups of more than six people. That naturally takes a lot away from university life, but it doesn’t have to be that bad.

Having flown in from Singapore, where we have had a limitation of five people in a gathering since lockdown eased in June, I have become acclimated to a small group. It isn’t perfect, but I have realised that you tend to value your closest friends more now. A group of six forces you to choose who to meet – and you can naturally still meet all your friends; just not together. 

Moving into a flat with strangers is nerve-wracking, but I do think it provides a chance to socialise with my flatmates more now (watch a movie, play games, watch sports together, etc.). The key remains to socially distance with others – but as long as everyone is responsible, it should not be difficult to maintain a social life. You can still bring friends over to your flat, but must make sure to keep them to your room. It’s vital to lay down ground rules. Social responsibility is key.

There is a lot to do in Sheffield – and now might be the best time to visit the Peak District! We live in unique times, but I’m still looking forward to the year ahead!

Students breaking the rules is inevitable.

Jake Dannatt:

It was always going to be hard to have students follow social distancing when University came back around, but the newly introduced ‘Rule of 6’ is a stretch even for this government.

Having just moved into a flat of five it has been fairly easy over the past week to stick to the rules. However, that will most definitely become a problem when the start of the term arrives. For many, University is just as much about the social aspect as the educational one, so the new measure will cause great difficulty for many students across the UK.

Freshers week will feel alien and for those taking part will be rather difficult to engage fully in activities to the extent previous freshers have. Venues such as The Leadmill have arranged seated events, but of course nothing can come close to a Club Trop on a Thursday night with hundreds of people crammed into a small room.

For my flat, pubs will be our main place for socialising. Although with other friends living just outside of Sheffield, it will be difficult to arrange to do things with a limit of six people. I have seen several groups already break the new rule in parks and around the city, but who am I to judge when it is apparently acceptable to have an eye test 270 miles away during lockdown?

Without proper policing, I struggle to see private gatherings of more than six being dispersed consistently. Traditional student life is unlikely to return for quite some time, but there are ways we can socialise to a limited degree.

Information on the ‘rule of six’ was accurate at the time of printing. For the latest information regarding coronavirus visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Image Credit: Ian Taylor

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