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Lockdown Student Stories – Josh, BA English

Life for me in lockdown has certainly been filled with its fair share of high’s and lows. I made the decision to move back home from Cheltenham so I could live with my parents again. I don’t have any siblings and both of my parents are still able to work, so I knew that I would be spending a lot of time on my own. As someone who considers themselves to be more of an introvert than an extrovert, its been interesting to discover just how much time I need to recharge by myself, before I feel the need to get in contact with my mates. I think that would be my first piece of advice for everyone in lockdown; don’t feel obligated to respond to every text and message you receive immediately because you feel like you should constantly stay online. Take time to switch your phone off and engage in some quality self-care; be it reading, meditation, or anything else you enjoy. For me, that includes practicing the piano, playing computer games or watching YouTube! I’ve also taken some time to research ways to learn a new language, once I’ve finished with my assignments. Hobbies like this don’t need to be financially challenging, Duolingo and YouTube tutorials are just as good as any paid tuition course, and in some cases work even better! 

So, if you feel you can, use your newfound spare time as an opportunity to delve into something new you’ve always wanted to try, but ‘never had time for’. Everyone’s situation is different currently, so make sure to only take on as many projects as you feel comfortable with! 

When it is time to be social, however, there’s no reason why lockdown should stop you from catching up with your mates and enjoying yourself. Me and my friends from back home have set up a weekly quiz night to catch up and check on each other, and I still keep tabs on my uni mates as well to see how they’re doing. We usually use facetime or messengers video chat as the main host, but there are plenty of alternative apps you can use to connect with each other as well; like snapchat or house party. A good tip to keep the quiz night fresh is that every week we come up with a unique topic of our choosing and make the questions up ourselves. Not only does it keep your brain active, but it also gives you an idea of the sorts of interests your friends have as well!

If you’re worried that you haven’t heard from someone in a while, take some time out of your day to drop them a message and see how they’re getting on. I’m sure you’d appreciate the sentiment if the shoe was on the other foot, so don’t be afraid to reach out and check on those you care about. Kindness is always a virtue!

As I mentioned earlier, before the UK went into lockdown, I managed to make it back to my home in Salisbury. This was mainly so I could continue to work part-time at my job as a healthcare worker in a nursing home alongside my lectures. To anyone who has elderly relatives who are either living alone or in a care environment currently, I urge you to try and contact them as frequently as you’re able to. Loneliness is such a problematic issue for the elderly generation currently, and even just one phone call or zoom video chat can make the world of difference. I can’t tell you how happy the residents at my job are after they’ve had a chat to their family members, even going as far as boosting their appetite and their motivation to get up and get moving. So please take time to contact your elders, they’ll massively appreciate it. ​

For all of you who are struggling currently, I hope I’ve given you some ideas to feel productive and motivated in these uncertain times. Stay safe and stay healthy, and make sure to get a list ready of all your plans once this is all over!

Stay safe friends, 

​- Josh 🙂 ​​