‘Exhausted’ university student in tears over ‘lack of support’ during pandemic

Emily Chudy, PA
·3-min read

An “exhausted” university student has gone viral after sharing an emotional post about the lack of support she says students have received during the pandemic.

Kiera Murrell, who studies psychology at the University of Bournemouth, shared a photo of herself in tears and wrote: “In case anybody wondered how it looked or felt to be a university student in a pandemic.

“I am so exhausted and drained. I have spent my afternoon crying into a Terry’s chocolate orange because I have received not a single bit of support since university moved online in March, just like everybody else on my course.”

After the post was shared thousands of times, Ms Murrell, 20, told the PA news agency that she hopes it will help students’ voices be heard.

“I just ended up reaching a point yesterday where I felt so deflated, I didn’t want to continue with university, something which I worked so hard for,” she said.

“I actually originally took that photo to send to friends, but I decided to share it alongside the statement to show other students they’re not alone, and there are others who aren’t coping very well under the current circumstances.

“I am so surprised on the response… I think it speaks so much volume that thousands of students can relate and understand the struggles. I’m just so glad it did get the response it did, because students’ voices are finally being heard.”

Kiera Murrell is studying psychology (Kiera Murrell)
Kiera Murrell is studying psychology (Kiera Murrell)

The post, which has more than 172,000 likes on Twitter, describes the difficulties of producing several assignments and preparing for upcoming exams with “no feedback” amid restrictions on face-to-face teaching.

“Please tell me how I’m supposed to improve or better my work with absolutely 0 feedback apart from a few sarcastic emails from lecturers telling us to figure it out,” the second-year student said in the post.

“All while we are expected to pay £9,250 for this course… not forgetting the thousands of pounds of rent this year.”

She told PA that her course would be more manageable if they had “more materials”.

“We can’t go to the libraries to get the resources we normally need,” she claimed.

“The wellbeing centres for universities need to be doing more to check on students and make sure students know what support is out there,” she added.

The post has had more than 172,000 likes on Twitter (Kiera Murrell)
The post has had more than 172,000 likes on Twitter (Kiera Murrell)

Ms Murrell added that some of her friends had not been home “in months” and spent Christmas away from their families amid coronavirus restrictions in southern England.

She told PA: “Some days it’s easy to motivate yourself, other days you do just feel so flat and lonely, and like your lecturers are against you rather than there to support and guide you.

“Normally we have a clue on where we are in terms of grades, but this year it feels like we’re barely getting by.”

A spokesman for Bournemouth University said: “Throughout the pandemic, significant support has been put in place to support students and their learning.

“Messages have been sent to students on a very regular basis and a range of information and guidance is available on the BU website and student portal.

“We would encourage any student needing support to contact our AskBU service or their academic adviser.”