As I sit down to write on the second/ fourth day of half term, depending on whether you count the weekend, I thought I would write about how I found the last few weeks after entering lockdown 3. It wasn’t exactly the start to the year any of us wanted, but it’s what we were handed and therefore had to deal with. Overall, although many people have struggled a lot more with this lockdown, I haven’t found it too different to those previously. Of course, I would do anything for some hotter weather and longer daylight, but I think I have improved my mentality so much since lockdown 1 that it’s all balanced out.
Since the new year, I’ve been ensuring I carry a much more positive mindset which has helped ensure my lockdown has been as pleasant as possible. I make sure I remind myself of how lucky I am compared to others and this helps me maintain gratitude for my position and prevents me from being consumed with thoughts about ‘how ‘bad’ my life seems’. Although I am a heavy social media user, I’ve been more proactive in how I use it. I keep in contact with many friends online, but I also take time away from these apps as it can lead to me overthinking about how I can only see my friends through a screen, which can sometimes do more harm than good and put me in a lonely mood. Similarly, I’ve been trying to distance myself from ‘negativity’ online. One of the most common strains of negativity I find online, is people complaining about the pandemic and lockdowns. I appreciate it is a tough time for everyone at the moment, and people have every right to express their disappointments, but it’s something that personally I don’t want to see. However, instead of getting irritated or upset by these, I have simply taught myself to scroll past anything I don’t want to see. At the end of the day, as social media users, we do have a certain extent of responsibility for what we choose to interact with, so I have recently been much more proactive in doing so. Finally, I have continued working on my independence and ‘self-love’ mentality. I extract so much happiness from external sources, such as my friends, that being happy alone has been a big change in my life. I find I enjoy my own presence a lot more, I enjoy my privacy, and I also don’t require consistent validation from others in my life. Inevitably, there are some days easier than others, but overall I am more confident in myself as an independent teen, which I hope can continue to show itself when the world opens up again.
As for school, that has been more of a struggle. At the start of term, I found it incredibly hard to be motivated, as I didn’t really have anything to work towards. As the term progressed, I became more structured in my work, but I still wasn’t working to the level I wanted to. My main focus this term has been on coursework, and despite my teachers being extremely generous with feedback and their time, it is still a challenge to complete without face to face contact. Ultimately, the only option is to adapt, and my school has been amazing with their digital learning programme, so I really am lucky in that aspect. My friends and I are pretty gutted to be losing out on more of our Sixth Form experience. We are hopeful to one day return, but with the current circumstances, we understand it wouldn’t be wise to do so any time soon… We’re all waiting to see whether the ‘March 8 deadline’ will actually go ahead… But for now, I will stick to putting my head down for my mocks, testing my hearing when my teachers’ connection becomes questionable and seriously sweating whenever I’m asked a question!
One consistent day dream for me, and I’m sure many of you, is the future. In the immediate, I will be putting work into my upcoming mock examinations, but that tends to be in my nightmares rather than dreams. I look forward to the reunions with family and friends, I hope for a memorable summer, and I dream of nights of endless fun. Reminding yourself things are only ever temporary is so so important. One day we’ll be able to say we’re out of this pandemic, and I’m pretty sure there will be enough parties to make up for the few years missed!!!
Take care of yourselves,