THIS was not the start to university life Lucia Montgomery expected. 

What should have been a time for meeting lifelong friends has instead turned into hours confined to her room. 

Like hundreds of students at two Glasgow University residences, the 18-year-old has been ordered to self-isolate following an outbreak of Covid-19. 

“It has been a bit overwhelming,” the first-year nursing student said. 

READ MORE: Gasgow University student 'regrets' lockdown parties

“We had started to hear rumours about it and you were starting to hear about people being in contact with corona.” 

Lucia moved to Murano Street – Cairncross being the other under lock and key – at the start of Freshers’ Week.

“It was really hectic when I arrived and I didn’t think it was going to be this social,” she continued.

Glasgow Times: Lucia is one of hundreds of students living at Murano now in self-isolation Lucia is one of hundreds of students living at Murano now in self-isolation

“We’ve all heard about flats having hundreds of people. 

“The university was really good at reminding us about the rules before we arrived but during the week they all seemed very relaxed.” 

Like Lucia, Athina Bohner moved to the city this month, the German teenager smitten with Glasgow’s reputation for students. 

However, the 18-year-old admits she has been “unsettled” by events.

“I have mixed feelings about this all,” the international relations student said. “On the one hand, I was excited to move here in what they say are the ‘best years of your life’. 

“On the other, it has all been a little unsettling.

“I see what is going on at Murano and I am grateful for the safety of my accommodation.

“People are dying from this virus and there are more important things than our house parties.

“This should be the time for us all to stick together.” 

Fourth year students Holly Jennings and Bethany Woodhead live in private accommodation, but both share the concerns of Lucia and Athina. 

READ MORE: Glasgow University coronavirus outbreak: Campus feels like a ‘ghost town’

“It is definitely strange,” Holly, editor-in-chief of student newspaper the Glasgow Guardian, said. “We were one of the few universities in the UK to host physical Freshers’ events.

“I spent some time back home in Aberdeenshire during lockdown and returned to Glasgow a few months ago. I had no issues or any worries at all until university started back.

Glasgow Times: Holly Jennings Holly Jennings

“The university was telling us what to do, but you don’t know what was enforced.”

Holly, 20, added: “It does feel a bit like students have been scapegoats during the pandemic, but it is just a few who have been daft.” 

Bethany, 21, said: “All of the lessons have been organised to be online, so it was incredibly surprising when the university was encouraging students to be on campus. 

“In the same breath, they have done other things to keep people safe.”

The English literature student added: “It is really hard, though, to come here and be in isolation.

Glasgow Times: Bethany Woodhead Bethany Woodhead

“They have put out statements now about what they are going to do, but their hands have been forced because of the national media attention.”

Lecturers also feel they have been let down by a lack of planning

One, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I think staff are very critical of the higher ups at the university because they encouraged a huge number of international students to move to Glasgow while they dragged their heels about whether to make classes online or not.

“So, now we have a situation where students have moved here, are paying large rents but nothing is happening on campus. And of course the the fact that the uni saw fit to cram hundreds of international students into halls was ridiculous and we know what’s just happened because of all the mismanagement.” 

A University of Glasgow spokesman said: “We are continuing to deal with two significant outbreaks of Covid-19 in our Murano Street and Cairncross residences, totalling 172 cases. This is an increase of 48 from yesterday [Tuesday], however we would expect this number to rise over coming days as we increase testing capacity around the residences. The number of people isolating remains roughly the same. 

“We are working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Public Health Scotland, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council and implementing additional measures including a deploying mobile testing centre at Murano Street and making sure testing is readily available across all residences.

“We have made clear to students that they must not socialise with others outwith their households.  We have also strongly advised them to avoid hospitality venues such as bars over the weekend. The student unions on campus will remain closed. We will monitor the situation closely to ensure that our own rules and the guidance issued by Scottish Government is followed.”

If you are needing support, you can call Breathing Space Scotland on 0800 838 587