8 tech-free ways to enjoy university lockdown

Published: 22/10/20

Technology – It’s both our best friend and our biggest burden.

Ever since the invention of the first iPhone in 2007, the world has been moving ever-closer to an over-reliance on technology.

In fact, back in 2018 our research showed that one in five young Brits suffered from such severe ‘nomophobia’ they couldn’t bear to be without their phone for less than ONE HOUR if it was lost or broken!

Fast-forward to 2020 - with the coronavirus pandemic leading to online teaching and student accommodations being put into strict lockdowns - technology has become crucial for students to learn, socialise and manage day-to-day tasks.

But this doesn’t mean the fears and worries around technology have disappeared.

Surprisingly, our new research shows that mistrust of technology is actually increasing, with 39% of students now worrying about experiencing technological issues - up from just 22% last year. This relates to concerns about the impact of technological failure on their education, with 73% worrying about ‘staying on top of the academic work’.

Clearly, our love affair with technology wasn’t meant to last.

But let’s face it, in this day and age it’s nearly impossible to go completely tech-free - because if you aren’t on Instagram, do you even exist?

But this dependency is also what makes it all the more important to have a “digital detox” now and then – especially if you’re stuck in university lockdown with nothing but your gadgets to keep you company.

Stuck for ideas? Here are 8 tech-free activities to keep you entertained during university lockdown!

How to have a “digital detox” during university lockdown

1. Practise mindfulness

Not exactly an original thought, but if you’re feeling stressed out at university a bit of yoga or meditation could do you the world of good – even if it’s just for 10 minutes to wind down after an online lecture.

2. Visit other worlds

This is a pompous way of saying “read a book” – but it’s also true that when you can’t leave the house, reading is a great way to be transported to other times and places – even if it’s only in your imagination. Plus you’ve probably got a few books to get through on your uni reading list anyway!

3. Get crafty

You don’t need loads of fancy materials to start a craft project – if you’ve got paper, glue and/or cellotape, this will be enough to build something, whether it’s a bridge, building or something a little more out-there!

Although, unless you’re an engineering or architecture student, your paper construction could fall apart fairly quickly – so maybe not one for the easily frustrated!

4. Write the great British novel

Who hasn’t imagined themselves accepting a Pulitzer for their latest epic novel? Even if you don’t write up the whole thing (this is a “tech-free” activity list after all) a break from your gadgets could be the perfect opportunity to capture some inspiration and jot down some notes for the future.

5. Paint

Painting is a great way to relax at the best of times – but why not have some fun with it as well? You could take the opportunity to set up the weirdest still life possible out of your flatmate’s belongings and see how long it takes them to notice your lovely new painting!

6. Play ‘Flags’

Under university lockdown rules, you’re still allowed to socialise with the people you live with in student accommodation. And thank goodness, because that means it’s the perfect time for flagging!


Each flatmate picks a flag (any flag).

When your flatmates aren’t around, you then sneak into eachother’s rooms and place your flags on their favourite belongings. This means they now can’t use that item for 24 hours – but remember, if you get caught in the act they automatically get to “flag” something of yours, so watch your back!

If you’re feeling particularly irritating, you can flag items such as their bed, wallet or even their deodorant…. although this may be more of a punishment for you than for them!

7. Get creative with your cooking

Hunger will probably get you to this point anyway – but why not use your extra free-time to explore your culinary prowess?

If you’re feeling daring, just open the recipe book randomly and cook whatever happens to be on the page - this is a great way to make sure you don’t gravitate to familiar recipes.

8. Stare out the window

Just because you aren’t in lectures doesn’t mean you can’t take 10 minutes to gaze mindlessly out the window on occasion – even if you don’t have a great view, it can be surprisingly relaxing to just stare at nothing.

You never know, you might even have a ‘Rear Window’ moment to spice up your university lockdown!

Protecting your gadgets at university

Looking to protect your favourite gadgets?

Cover your gadgets against theft, accidental damage (including cracked screens!) and mechanical breakdown. Includes a 15% Endsleigh discount on up to two gadgets!

Find out more about Protect Your Bubble’s student insurance.

Staying in student accommodation?

You may already have insurance through your accommodation provider! Check and confirm your cover today via the My Endsleigh app.

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