*This is just my thoughts, probably a bit selfish, but during the time of lockdown wee also have a lot of times to think. This was an in the moment piece, and yes I am fully aware that most will disagree with me. So disclaimer, you don’t have to agree, but there are probably a lot that agree but just haven’t been vocal. Also I have not gone against social distancing and have only left my house in the last 7 weeks for my one daily exercise.
You are always told that your twenties are the best years of your life, or your university days are there for memories to be created, or to be able to move out to the big smoke (if London isn’t your thing, insert own city etc), to have fun, to travel, to enjoy life, to fall in love (and get your heartbroken), to intern and find your dream job, to start a career, but mainly your twenties should be an incredible time.
I’m 22. A masters student in London which I commute to (up until March), and I live at home. It’s not a bad situation, I go out, I have fun, I travel, I go to football matches and concerts. I love being out of the house, I love seeing people out and about. I’m a student and I work best in a student space watching other people work (or scrolling through social media). Coronavirus has changed this all.
I haven’t been to London in 7 weeks, which for me is crazy considering I was up in London five six days a week. I’m studying and watching lectures on my bed (sorry back), my desk is facing a fall and I can’t see other people doing the work (although Google Docs is amazing for group work when you are all editing the file).
It sounds terribly selfish, and obviously lockdown is for the purpose of everyones health, but I feel like I’m just wasting time that I will never get back. People who are in retirement, or anyone say over the age of 50 ish, got to have this time. 7 weeks is a bloody long time, and I had so much planned, but all the memories and moments that should have happened in April 2020 never happened. Yes virtual quizzes with my friends has been amazing, and I have even tried virtual dating (thanks bumble), I’ve been baking more, and even run a 5K, and spent more time with my parents than I have probably even had.
If you were to look outside your window, nothing has changed. It’s another day, the sun is shining or it is raining and gloomy. You make yourself a tea and have breakfast. Maybe do some exercise. Yes, I live in a household where (touch wood) no one has had the symptoms or has had coronavirus, and I don’t know anyone that has even been affected by it. I don’t know anyone working in a hospital, although I know key workers in supermarkets and care homes. It still doesn’t feel real, but maybe that is because I haven’t directly been affected.
I’m not going to lie, i’m bored of the daily press conferences, with the some questions, that now take an hour or just over. I’m bored with being indoors. I’m bored of doing university assignments on my bed. I’m bored of my two run routes. I’m bored of doing the same thing inside everyday. Yes that’s probably selfish, but aren’t your twenties about being selfish? About wanting to break the rules, have fun, enjoy life. I want to go travelling. I want a job in sport marketing, partnerships, or comms, but do you think I can get any experience when no live sport is on? It’s all very well doing online courses alongside a masters online to add to your LinkedIn, but at the end of the day the graduate job market is tough already, the competition is high, and I have basically no experience which is not much fun.
Also I might as well have just signed up to the Open University, as I now have lectures online, and Skype calls with my dissertation supervisor. I love being a lecture hall (yes sounds weird I know), and being around like minded people all interested in sport marketing, who want a career in the sport industry, the in lecture debates, smiling and chatting with your mates, and even scrolling social media during the boring parts. I don’t miss the numb bum of lecture hall seats, but I miss being in a physical building of a university campus, and although my bed is comfy, it just isn’t the same. I’m also paying a lot of money as well. So yeah, I know that sounds selfish and call it what you want, but no one is talking about these lost ‘7 weeks’ and soon to be more. (Yes I know that sounds selfish, and thousands of lives are being lost, but when you are stuck inside all day you think about all the stuff you could have and should have done).
All the Facetimes, Zooms, Whatsapps, Facebook messenger chats, dating apps, social media, instagram live workouts etc, are great, but it sucks how much we have had to use them. I want to be going for cocktails with the girls, going for a run along the seafront instead of on a main road, going to Tottenham with my Dad.
I feel completely lost and scared. I miss social interaction. I’m scared that i’m missing parts of my early twenties that I shouldn’t have had to miss. I’m also scared about coming out of lockdown, life as we know it has changed. There was a pre-coronavirus world of mass gatherings, 60k in a football stadium, 20k in the O2 getting sweaty in the standing area (obvs know there is not 20k in the standing area). No one really knows what the post-coronavirus world is going to look like, the uncertainty around it as well.
It may sound selfish to say, but the 15 – to say 35 year olds are missing out majorly on their lives, even if we don’t always lead the most incredible and exciting lives, think of the stuff we have missed out on.
Thinking of the final year uni students missing out on their graduation in July, or them uni sport nights, or playing sport, or just attending your final ever lecture.
Think about the people who have saved up to go travelling, but are now stuck in their bedroom in their parents home.
Think of them days when you meet someone random at uni, in a shop, or on a night out that change your life forever.
Think of the people who were supposed to get married, and now have to postpone it.
Think of the athletes who are in their prime and trained so hard to get to the olympics, compete for their national team at Euro 2020, the players were this is their final year before they retire, think about the competitions they could have won, or the fan who was supposed to go their first match.
Whoever, however, whatever coronavirus is, and how it spread and came out of China we may never really know, but we will remember how our lives stopped and slowed down. The people that have died, and the people that have spent more time with their family than they had ever thought (good or bad). 2020 will go down as that year.
I’m a masters student, who probably wanted to move to London by the end of the year and had mentally planned a trip to Thailand and Bali in October (lol furloughed, and international travel isn’t really going to happen now). I’m ever going to go back to my university building in London, or get on the HereEast bus in the Olympic Park, and i’m pretty upset about that and how my masters is practically finishing at home.
All I know is that I have a masters dissertation to write (I was hoping for writing it in cafes in London, meeting up with friends) and that has to be in in September. Whether I have a graduation in December is an unknown, and I can’t bloody wait till 2021.
We maybe physically distancing, but socially we are probably closer than ever, yet at times I feel so distant and lost in the madness and I crave the day normality returns.