Guest post - 4 minute read
We're all living in uncertain times which has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. As we work and study from home, juggle the demands of home-schooling and live in a more isolated world it's important to remember, you're not alone.
We're sharing your stories of how you’re finding lockdown, how you look after your own mental health and any hints and tips you may have to help others during this time.
Our second blog in the series is from year 13 student, Macy.
Looking back, it seems almost dreamlike that there was once a time where large numbers of us were gathered in tightly knit crowds at train stations, concerts, shopping centres, parties and family functions. Although lockdown has been a prevalent struggle for many of us, it also seems to be a time of self-reflection on the things we had once taken for granted.
Like many other teenagers my age, before coronavirus had hit the front page of every tabloid and was the topic of every other conversation, I was adjusting to a new sixth form, new friends and a new curriculum.
It would be fair to say the sixth form experience which I’d once idealised was relatively short lived, as around five and a half months into the school year we’d received the news that it was practically over.
In the beginning, lockdown was something I wasn’t entirely bothered about, as I’d once believed it was going to be a three-week holiday away from friends, a schooling environment and extended family.
Fast-forward to almost a year later, where the sacrifice of ordinary life continues to bane our existence it would be easy to say not much has changed, personally however the change of my character and of my circumstances has been drastic.
I’d be lying if I said that online schooling hasn’t been difficult, you would think having more time on your hands would allow you to get more done but I find it’s been the complete opposite.
Motivation often seems scarce and temptations are on the rise, having the constant reminder that your bed is now only a couple feet away and your phone is beside you for your viewing pleasure, it is easy to become demotivated in these times.
Despite its negative aspects, online schooling allows my day to be structured so I have a reason to wake up and do something productive. Without a proper learning environment, it is admittedly easier to lose determination to continue your day without a teacher looming over you or your friends having a laugh with you.
I find it’s best to not dwell on the things out of my control such as wishing for a return to normality. However, stopping yourself from reminiscing is obviously much easier said than done, so in order to combat these feelings I’ve realised that it is equally as important as schoolwork to make sure that we indulge in the things that make us happy.
For me I enjoy watching movies with my family, playing video games, going on walks or talking to friends online. It is always much easier to cope with school workload when you are in the right frame of mind to do so.
This year I’m preparing for the transition to university and I’m extremely anxious about the outcome of our results. I wish to do a BA in Media and Communications or Film and Literature which will require good grades and a good work ethic, which is rather difficult to achieve in these unprecedented times.
Due to the lost time at school I anticipated that exams would be cancelled which has relieved me from a bucketload of stress, yet I think I speak for many students when I say that the lack of control to prove yourself in an exam is slightly daunting.
I believe that I have not always necessarily been working up to the adequate standard I may have done, were we in a normal situation, and because of this it scares me slightly that the work I do now will reflect on what I would have been capable of in the summer.
Nonetheless, I try to grant myself the benefit of the doubt that we are not in a normal situation, and that we should only focus on the aspects that we can control currently and not dwell on the ones we can’t.
So, I now consider it as an achievement when I show up to my online lessons on time and get my work done to the best of my ability in spite of these challenging times because I am subtly controlling my own outcome. I advise others who may be struggling to follow the same thought process, and not criticise yourself for overindulging in things you enjoy.