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An Ode to Being Young and in Quarantine

When I heard about the national lockdown Boris Johnson announced a week ago. I thought of three things specifically:

  1. I’m not surprised
  2. I hope my friends are okay
  3. Time to get blamed again.

When people think of ‘young people’ they think of wildness, partying, being carefree.

These things may define some of us but they will unfortunately also be the reason we are blamed for going back into lockdown. This blame comes from older generations who think it’s okay to wear masks underneath their noses. While we continue to be blamed, many of us start to feel lost in circumstances we can’t control.

As a student in my second year of university, my university experience isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Mainly because my first year ended with being told to pack up my room and leave within 48 hours in April 2020. Only for it to happen again 10 months later.

Two weeks after I came home from University in November, I found out my dad had COVID-19, then again two weeks later, my sister. Luckily both are fully recovered but with my whole family in isolation, it made me do something I’ve never done before. I spiralled within my own anxiety.

I woke up every day with the reality of the two of the people I love most having a deadly disease. I felt like I was walking on eggshells in my own home, terrified of potentially getting it myself. My worst thought was that I was the one who brought the virus into my household. Perhaps I got it from someone walking down the street or someone in the supermarket.

I kept to myself, hyper-focusing on nothing and worrying about everything all at once. Every night I would check my dad was still breathing from the top of the stairs. You may think this is an overreaction but living with something you hear about daily, that has killed thousands is terrifying. The more you hear about others blaming people your age for the spread of the virus, the more you think that it’s your fault.

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These were moments, I couldn’t control which made me feel fearful of going into another lockdown. 

Many young people may experience mental health issues for the first time due to being away from things that bring them comfort. Life has become less recognisable. The ‘new normal’.  At a time in your life when you are already trying to figure out who you’re supposed to be, going in and out of restrictions and lockdowns, makes you think what now? What will happen tomorrow? What is the point of all of this? 

This makes it extremely tempting to want, and almost need, to go outside and socialise. But we know we can’t. We as a generation are one of the most active – in conversations about politics, identity and climate change. We have proven we are capable of listening and learning from others rather than wanting to live in our own ignorance. Therefore, we should try and stay at home as much as possible. We shouldn’t give others the opportunity to place blame on us.  

 

However, please remember you are able to leave your location if you are in a vulnerable situation such as getting away from domestic abuse. Young people today are extremely brave to keep going despite feeling lost.  Saying this, it may turn out you learn more about yourself and how to take care of your wellbeing. For example, I took up writing as comfort and now I feel I can write this message of hope to you now.   

 

You can do it.

Here’s to hope.

 

Image sources: CNN & Mellow Doodles