What has this Past Year Even Been

Heart on Campus
 
By Kat, UofG Unibuddy 
 
I know we’re all tired of hearing what a strange year it has been and what unprecedented times we are in.
 
We’re tired of having put our lives on hold or even seeing our lives take on new forms that we weren’t counting on. We’re all tired of not hugging, not going out, of worrying and stressing and waiting.
 
Everyone’s experience has been different but overall this year has been bizarre and painful for many. Even in times of uncertainty and despair, there is good that can come from it. Something good grows from what you go through - you.
A Relief at First

Last year, I went from going out several times a week and spending barely any time in my student dorm to being locked in it.

When Scotland first went into lockdown, I was a first year student, who had the week before the announcements enjoyed going to Kelvingrove with friends, a comedy club in the West End, a new restaurant in the neighbourhood and the University Cafe religiously for their scones.

All of a sudden it was all gone, and we had to sit inside. It was, honestly, a relief at first. I was lucky enough to not be in a risk group, and I was happy to sit inside if it meant helping public health.

Lockdown Fatigue

A year locked in is mentally taxing on a person, and lockdown fatigue is very real.

It’s okay to feel bad sometimes, and it’s inevitable, it was a part of life before Covid-19 too.

Putting my energy and time into focusing on the positives helps.

Living in the Moment

During lockdown, I finally learned how to be by myself, and I didn’t need constant company to be okay.

I didn’t just learn how to be by myself, but I genuinely began enjoying my own company. I took better care of myself.

I learned how to live truly in the moment because all of a sudden, any semblance of future, any future plans I made or thought about, were out the window or submerged in uncertainty.

Connections

I had time to read books, to make art, to get into topics I had never had time for, to reconnect with friends and do projects, and to just bask in the sun without worrying about responsibilities.

I had the time and opportunity to have a relationship with someone I cared a lot about and spend loads of time with them, and even if it didn’t last, I’m grateful and happy for it.

Online classes allowed me to study at my own pace. Lockdown forced me into a much needed break, and as someone who was trying to do so much all the time and exhausting myself mentally, it was nice to take a break and not feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Spending Time with Myself

Lockdown forced me to spend time with myself and to take better care of myself. This isn’t the entirety of my lockdown experience.

There have been bad days, days I’ve sat and mourned the university experience I missed out on and struggled to accept this new one.

I worked at an elderly home and spent the summer trying to comfort patients who didn’t understand why we had big scary protective gear all of a sudden. I went through a break up in lockdown, and had to deal with loneliness, worry and uncertainty.

Grateful

But I’m grateful for it. It has made me more resilient, more appreciative, it’s made me a better student, sister, daughter and friend.

Life is what we make of it, and even in difficult times, for your own sake- you have to actively focus on the good, to make sure that’s where your energy goes.

This is just to share my experience - maybe yours is similar, maybe it’s different. What’s important, is that it can still be good.


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First published: 8 April 2021

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