Yesterday, at 20:00pm, almost everyone in Britain was gathered around some form of TV, radio, or portable device to listen to what announcement Boris Johnson had made us wait all day for… Less than a minute in, we found out what we feared; a national lockdown. Due to the governments previous indecisiveness, I wasn’t quite expecting a full lockdown, but I definitely do agree it is what is needed right now. For me, the most significant changes will be not being able to see friends or family, hospitality closing and ultimately my A level exams being ‘cancelled’. As of right now, I’m not quite sure what the next few months of my life will entail, as everything is just so uncertain, but if you’re reading this, I hope it comforts you that you might not be the only one who has no clue what is going on right now!
The first lockdown was a brand new, half exciting and half terrifying experience. As we expected to be having a short ‘two weeks’ off, I quite enjoyed the prospect of a couple of weeks without ridiculously early mornings to get to school, however it was soon clear this would not be the case. Through the next few months, I grudged on through my work, kept in contact with as many people as possible and worked on my fitness a lot, aided by the gorgeous weather last year! However, I certainly didn’t enjoy lockdown and it wasn’t one of the happy moments in my life, which is why this time round I’m focussing on ensuring I use this time to better myself, instead of slipping into a cynical cycle. On a more positive note, I was able to have a really lovely summer last year, despite the limitations as to what we could do, and if one thing is keeping me hopeful this time round, it’s the idea that if we all work together to get this virus back under control, we can ensure we have a brilliant summer in 2021.
In a way, it’s lucky that lockdown has come in the New Year, as this is a time many people pick new goals and strive to achieve them. Obviously, lockdown is extremely demotivating for some, but if I had one tip it would be to use the time wisely and get yourself in good habits, ready to immerse as a better person when this all comes to an end. Over the next few weeks I’m aiming to improve certain habits such as drinking more, eating better and exercising as much as possible. No one knows what the next few weeks, months and year hold/s for us but for now I’m promising myself I will use this lockdown in positive ways and not let it ruin the year.
One area that is slightly concerning and still very much up in the air are my exams. As we await a statement from the Education Secretary, neither me nor my teachers, and perhaps not even the government themselves, know what these ‘alternative arrangements’ will be. Will we take smaller exams? Will it be purely coursework grades? Will we be awarded CAGs with the risk of the fiasco that occurred last year? The answer is no one knows, but it’s a difficult moment for students, as it’s hard how to know where to go from here. For now, I’m continuing as normal and working as hard as I would usually do, to put myself in the best position possible, but it’s none the less concerning as there are so many possibilities for the way my A levels will take place this year.
As heavily emphasised by the Media and I’m sure many people around you, these are ‘truly unprecedented times’ and we really do not know how the year will go. Use the lockdown to as much of an advantage as you can, and most importantly stay safe! My heart goes out to all the key workers, those suffering with COVID and anyone who finds themselves struggling due to the circumstances. I will link some mental health services below for anyone who feels they may need them. Take care of yourselves!
Samaritans- 116 123
CALM- 0800 58 58 58
YoungMinds- 0800 018 2138
No Panic- 0844 967 4848
SANE- 0300 304 7000
Get Connected- 0808 808 4994