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Meet our first LOCK-DOWN HERO

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Get inspired by Dani - MSc Psychology student at Regent's.

Discover... how she is doing, how she keeps motivated to work hard whilst SFH (Studying from home), her pets, hobbies and so much more...

Daniele McGrath has been nominated because:

"She has been such a positive influence on her classmates during these troubling times. Everything she has done during this COVID epidemic has raised the spirits of her cohort and showed unending support for those that have been struggling. Lending an ear to listen to the anxieties and discuss the troubles of finals, has made all the difference to her friends and that support is extended to everyone that is affected by her positive outlook. We -Regent's- should recognise Dani for just being herself, as she is who we all aspire to be: positive, supportive, clever, and hardworking"

• How do you feel about being nominated?

I assumed the nomination was part of a generic email sent out to all students when I first opened it, but then when I realised it wasn't I felt amused. Then I felt flattered – regardless of whether it was a joke or not – and still amused.

• What keeps you motivated to work hard whilst SFH (studying from home)?

What keeps me motivated to work hard whilst SFH is that I actually benefit from the reduced lack of distractions (like not having to commute 1 hr 30 minutes to campus, not being able to go many places and not experiencing FOMO) and therefore I feel more grounded and more focused than if I were SFS (studying from school), at times but not always. I am motivated to work hard because I love to learn. To be able to do so independently makes me so happy because I had never visualised competently studying online before and so now, I am sure that it's the learning itself that I crave the most, not just the perks of being a student.

What does a typical SFH day look like to you?

A SFH day for me starts with an early morning walk, run or bike ride before breakfast in order to surround myself in nature prior to getting carried away on the laptop. Then coffee! When that kicks in, I go to my desk and make a general plan of what I’ll focus on that day, whether it’s an assignment or exam preparation, I’ll start with downloading relevant articles from google scholar, RUL discovery or research gate. The general plan usually does not go to plan – which is fine because this SFH experience has taught me to be a lot more flexible and less rigid with my schedule.

• How do you stay connected with your lecturers, tutors and fellow students?

Maintaining a sense of connection is of course much harder in lockdown where a classroom atmosphere is impossible to replicate, but it has been made easier by Whatsapp groups (one with the entire cohort, one with the entire cohort and lecturers, and one more personal with a select few friends). As well, Zoom calls (both academic and personal) were organised by our course leader which made me feel closer to campus.

Do you have any cute SFH companions (pets)?

I have a 1 year old called Luna (male feline tabby cat) who is the cutest thing I’ll ever get my hands on. Throughout lockdown he has been waking me up in the mornings, so I think of him as a very sweet alarm clock – the type that sets me up for a dreamy day.

• What's keeping you entertained during your downtime - do you have any books, hobbies, films, TV, podcast recommendations?

Keeping me entertained during my downtime is my best friend who I am fortunate enough to have living at home with me. If I didn’t have him, then my downtime would consist of bike rides in faraway forests and podcasts of any sorts (mental health, sound healing and astrology). My recommendation would be to avoid staying stagnant by actively and consciously choosing to do things, any things, especially things that draw you closer to the things you love to do or the person you love to be.

• What do you miss the most about being on campus?

So much! The feeling on campus for me is like having a private study in which friends and people from my course might pop up at any moment – I like that. I miss giggling uncontrollably about anything insignificant/random and my friends asking me to explain myself and I miss wondering about what my Regent's life would look like if I didn't know these people; they're special and make me see things from such unique perspectives. But what I mainly miss is the feeling of entering Regent’s front or back doors in the morning, because it is accompanied by an anticipatory feeling of excitement – like the day ahead has huge potential (learning and interacting with other students/lecturers), and the feeling of leaving at the end of a long day, because it is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment. I miss seeing lecturers walk around campus because they make me feel alive, I love how fascinating they are and wondering about how much they know – especially the ones who love what they do.

• What do you love the most about Regent's?

The location is what I love the most about Regent’s. It is situated in such a perfect picturesque place that studying there has made me fall in love with London all over again! I think of Regent’s and I feel wanderlust; it doesn’t just represent academia but a world of opportunity. I love that I've met people who I never could have imagined before, it's like getting to know real life cartoon characters. I will forever love the green grounds that Regent’s University London sits on and the secret garden that it shelters.

• Any final comments or advise for your fellow student

Other than staying alert…I would say staying sane is a real priority right now. Finding a space in side of yourself that is calm, collected, grateful and sweet is so important when living through so much global uncertainty and chaos. The light at the end of the tunnel is within and I hope that it is visible for each and every one of you.


Who is your lockdown hero? Nominate your friend here

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