Safia Khatun, an MA Applied Linguistics student, spent a period in self isolation while in China this year. She works at a university in China as an English Language Teacher and has been since the coronavirus outbreak began. She was in self isolation, in line with government guidelines, and her campus was in lockdown. She shares her advice for getting through that difficult period:

“The last year was one of the toughest years of my life! What helped me get through it was, I kept reminding myself that “this too shall pass” – because such is life, remember – nothing lasts forever! Bad times as well as good times come to an end and for sure things will change!"

“I know what you are all going through. It is a stressful and scary time. Being stuck indoors/in isolation/living on lockdown – at times for me was v frustrating and testing! More so because I am on my own, in a foreign country where I am not fluent in the language! But I found ways to cope and I had to because I wasn’t going to let it get to me – my mental wellbeing is very important to me!

"How did I cope? Well, again I kept reminding myself “this too shall pass!” This helped me stay positive...I kept myself busy doing what I enjoy most, namely cooking, with so much time on my hands...I have become more creative with my cooking! Humour helped big time! Online jokes/video clips/memes you name it! At times you have to escape the situation...albeit for a few minutes...keep in touch with friends/’s good to talk, trust me really helped me!

"While I am writing this, I am reflecting on the experience and I have to say that if anything it has been good for my personal growth! It has made me stronger and more resilient! You all too will get through this and like a couple of my friends have said to me – Saf if you can do it (and you are alone) – so can I!”

What helped me get through it was, I kept reminding myself that 'this too shall pass'

Safia Khatun, University of Portsmouth student