Transition Year pupil Lilly Heaton-Jones has completed a week of online work experience at The Southern Star. She asked some of her Skibbereen Community School classmates about their experiences of the pandemic
COVID-19 has been a difficult experience for everyone. Being in our third lockdown, both school and outside life have changed drastically. At times, it feels like everything has been put on hold completely. Still, there have been some lovely positives to lockdown. I discovered that I had time to learn more about who I want to be, and it was a relief not having to constantly ‘be’ somewhere. But, as everyone has had a different experience of the pandemic, I asked some of my Skibbereen Community School TY classmates for their opinions.
‘I think Covid was especially hard on people who were struggling before it hit. I suffer with my mental health, I feel Covid made it more difficult to deal with. I felt out of control with my routine changing suddenly. It’s difficult to look forward to the upcoming weeks, when everything is being cancelled. I got to practise my hobbies: I made my own clothes, I painted, I tried candle making and pottery, it was all very creative. I felt school was a distraction, but now there is a lot of time spent alone. Everyday felt never-ending, it was hard to find motivation. This lockdown has been the hardest. I’m finding school challenging, I miss my friends more this time, because friends are the best thing that help you get through stuff.’
‘The hardest thing I found about Covid-19 was the immediate loss of a social life – not being able to meet my friends or go to live events. And not being able to meet my grandparents was also very hard. Some positives: I got to spend more time with my family. I also started to learn the guitar in the first lockdown. The third lockdown I would consider to be harder than the first, as I felt were coming to the end of Covid-19 but it is very uncertain as to when it will end.’
‘The hardest part for me was not having human interaction, I realised how much we took for granted. The first lockdown was better, I found new hobbies, focused on looking after myself while maintaining good mental health throughout. I stuck to a routine, and the good weather helped. It gave me an opportunity to become closer with my family. I surprisingly hated not having school or work! Every day was the same, it was hard at times to be motivated. This lockdown has been harder, the weather is bad, it’s hard to get out. We are bombarded with school, it’s overwhelming and time-consuming. It’s annoying, too, because as I’m in TY, if we were in school, I don’t think we would be getting as much work!’
‘I find not being able to see my friends and family very hard, having no routine – without school and other activities, not knowing what’s going to happen. I found that the first lockdown was more positive, as I could take time to slow down from normal life. I got to work on myself, I got closer with friends and my family. I’m finding the third lockdown the hardest, as the weather is so bad. The first one was new, and nobody knew what to expect, while this one is just going on and on. This time we are missing more school and having to stay inside with nothing to do besides schoolwork. I feel like the teachers have more work prepared, we’re getting overloaded, it makes this time much harder