I thought I’d share with you a short extract from something I had submitted for a competition run by NCS. I completed the NCS programme last summer and have stayed in touch with the organisation and decided to enter into this competition in the middle of May, right in the middle of quarantine (in the UK). Shortly after I submitted this, they posted it on their instagram and even that was surprising. Only today did I receive that my entry was liked by some of the ‘judges’ (it wasn’t a proper competition so I don’t know what to call them…) and I got an email stating this and that they want me to share a video of a condensed version of my essay as well as sharing other media opportunities with me. I was delighted! Here is what I wrote:
“During quarantine, I have learnt that I can do anything that I put my mind to, especially when it comes to new challenges faced. For example, I have learnt that I actually enjoy doing an unreal amount of exercise each day, and this is a new skill that I have also learnt: resilience. I work out lots and lots and it’s due to my newfound resilience and determination to become the best version of myself during this uncertain time.
Currently, it is very hard to see the same people (my family) every day and not get upset, angry or annoyed at them, after all, we are all cooped up in the same house for weeks on end right now, and so there is no doubt that there will be a lot of tension in the air. This is, therefore, why I am grateful to have the family I have, who support me and help me get through these unprecedented times, and vice versa. On top of this, I have discovered who my true friends are. The ones who are staying in contact with me over this period through social media, especially Snapchat and FaceTime.
The first place I want to visit after lockdown is my best friend’s house. She lives about a 20 minute walk away from me and so it is so hard to resist going up there every now and again. As soon as lockdown is over, I will run to her house and spend at least three nights there (or have her come here) to binge watch Netflix or new films and catch up. Talking through the phone is never the same as talking face to face with someone, and that is what I miss most right now.
With regards to all my friends and family, I have already decided that, when it is safe and alright to do so, we will throw a massive house party at home for all of our friends and family to come to and all spend time together, especially with my grandparents, whom I haven’t seen in months. I really hope that after everything goes back to ‘normal’ (whatever ‘normal’ is now), this strong sense of community and positivity will remain. I hope that we can continue to support each other, as well as the government and especially the NHS, all of which are doing amazing jobs at keeping this country intact right now.
I hope that everyone stays connected and keeps on sharing this excellent positivity which everyone has found online. However, I believe that the world needs to be even more tolerant and positive towards each other on social media, because that is the only form of communication which we are all using right now, but it’s so easy to make that into a hate-platform. As long as we all stay positive and determined, we can keep social media a positive and friendly place!”
I wrote this in early May, in the middle of lockdown. A lot has changed since then: high streets are almost fully open, airlines are back up and running too. The world is shifting again and soon we will see life return back to normal again – whatever that could mean! As I say in my submission, I really do hope this ‘strong sense of community lasts’ and that we continue to support each other and remain close friends online and in person. Quarantine has been hard for us all and so this is the time we all must come together and stay together.