Two of our young volunteers have expressed positive feelings during lockdown and share their experiences.

George writes:

Although lockdown has been an overall negative experience for many people, it is important to realise what we have learnt from this unique circumstance. We have been presented with a challenge unlike any other in recent years. And, like every experience, we can learn from it. What aspects of lockdown should we continue with in everyday life?

In our family, we have tried to enjoy lockdown as an experience rather than concentrate on how hard it is to cope with. And, while many people have suffered from this, personal experience has taught us that there are things that lockdown has helped us with. Take, for example, work. In an ordinary day, my Dad would spend 3 hours every day commuting on a train and tube. To put this into perspective, he has saved 15 hours a week from just sitting on a train. He has been able to devote this lost time to many things that benefit his health, for example: exercise, hobbies, and spending time with the family, which is underrated in modern society. In short, he has found the working aspect of lockdown far more relaxing and enjoyable than he would usually, simply because of the freedom with which it has presented him with. He has now decided that, following this, he would like to work from home more often, after noticing how beneficial this experience has been to him. It helps him relieve stress, as there is something comforting about working in an environment that he enjoys. I have found that I too prefer working from home with school work for similar reasons.

Family time in lockdown

Furthermore, I have noticed that around my area, the number of people seen out exercising has increased exponentially. There are so many more people running, walking or cycling—people who are taking the opportunity of lockdown to keep their fitness up and improve their health. I for one have been exercising more than I usually would, and I hope to continue this after lockdown has ended. Getting out more and exercising has helped me cope with the isolation. Even if you don’t want to exercise, just connecting with nature can help you in a way little else can.

Lockdown has forced our family to spend more time together (although not unwillingly). This has helped our bond as a family and we have found that we spend more time enjoying each other’s company. In such a simple way, lockdown has actually helped our family and many more get on with each other better, and we would like to continue this—people rarely spend time to think about the health benefits of enjoying the people you live with, but I consider such negligence to be detrimental to the basic bond you have with your family.

Furthermore, lockdown has meant that we have had to explore other ways of communicating with family and friends. We have really had to exploit the usefulness of modern technology to speak to people. Recently, for example, we set up a zoom call to celebrate a family member’s birthday, when usually we would have all come together to do so. Now that we can communicate with people virtually, I would like to continue this on even when lockdown has ended, and there is no longer a necessity for it. I have found that only when I can’t contact people I have really begun to realise how much I miss them—I would go as far as to say that I speak to family more now than I usually would. Speaking to people is an important part of life and your mental state, and I believe people should continue this on just as I hope to do.

In summary, from a personal point of view, lockdown has introduced many benefits to me and my family. I think it’s really important to consider what lockdown has taught us about ourselves. Many of us underestimate the importance of all the things lockdown has highlighted for us, whether that be your physical health, your mental health, talking to people or social interaction.

Molly writes:

My school set work on google classrooms to complete, however it felt like we weren’t being taught anything, and just had to teach ourselves. I was set a lot of work which I struggled to complete, and when I asked for help, nobody responded for over a week. Often, I couldn’t meet deadlines due to personal circumstances, and the shear amount of work we were being set.

For the past week however, we have been receiving online lessons on google classroom for every subject. We have 3 lessons every day and each lesson last 1 hour. Usually, the teachers share their screen and show us PowerPoints, with activities for us to complete, exactly the same as a normal lesson.

Although, even online my classmates are still being disruptive, which can distract some people. During lock-down, I have heard that a lot of people have struggled to work from home (for schooling and for jobs), for me however, this is not the case for most of my subjects. I have found it easier to get work done without disruption from my fellow students.

Learning in Lockdown

My teachers and I have noticed significant differences between my work in school and my work from home. For example, my English teacher has commented, on a number of occasions, about how much my work has improved throughout lock-down because I am not being distracted by my classmates. This is the same for the majority of my lessons. The only lesson I have struggled with more is my Graphics lessons because we don’t have as many resources available to us. I find it difficult as I can’t see the teacher’s examples of work, and usually I gain my inspiration from people in my class and the teacher.

Overall, I find it a lot easier to learn in online lessons than just being set work like we were previously. In comparison to face-to-face teaching, I find it a lot easier to work at home, at my own pace, with little to no disruption. I feel more comfortable working online, which means I can ask questions when I don’t understand, and answer questions that the teacher proposes to us. I think it is bad that my school have only just implemented online teaching, as I feel the content we have covered before this I won’t understand and may struggle with during exams. In conclusion, I definitely prefer working at home, and my work has improved since doing so.