As young people, we often acknowledge that the learning we must do to flourish in society extends beyond academic learning taught through school or work - especially now with coronavirus and lockdown.
Admittedly, the concept of “remote learning” and “total lockdown” struck me as a tedious, trying and temperamental time - which was a perfectly valid reaction, as everybody has been completely thrown into the deep end, with different life situations on top of it all. Ask anyone you know - grandparents, parents, maybe even great grandparents - the world has never known a pandemic to affect us as socially, physically and mentally as Covid-19.
Maybe your parents are relentlessly and frustratingly ploughing through remote working, or dealing with furlough or redundancy? Maybe your siblings are pushing your Wi-Fi to breaking point as they simultaneously stream Netflix, maybe you really miss your grandparents, who are stuck at home due to their vulnerability…
So where does that leave us students?
Like many of us, remote learning and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship going on; therefore I’ve realized that not only am I learning new school content, but I’m learning tolerance. Tolerance of the once impossible seeming computer software I’m having to deal with daily or tolerating the essential fact that I can no longer physically interact with people, including my friends, teachers and all other social interactions we may sometimes take for granted. Tolerance is undoubtedly a vital skill which we can use throughout our whole lives, especially as our lives are only just beginning - workplaces and universities won’t be such a shift in environment if we learn to adapt and expect the unknown.
Gratitude is a strong emotion that has emerged within me - especially with all the protests currently occurring - I am beyond grateful that I have what I have, including the computer which I am typing this on, and for my mentors at Villiers Park Educational Trust who keep me connected with journalism opportunities such as this one. Furthermore, with the success of Clap For Carers and the media raising awareness, it’s provided a platform for essential workers to receive the gratitude and praise they deserve - seriously, where would we be in a world where none of our rubbish is collected, or where we can’t receive any prescription medicine?
I also have so much respect for my local community - in honour of National Carers Week, a local charity called Swindon Young Carers launched a competition to celebrate community, where I won with my spoken word poem, which truly represents how I feel about the positivity in society during the pandemic. Gratitude and awareness for all hard work being done to improve society deserves unprecedented acknowledgement at all times - hopefully now, the world recognises and will continue to thank those people who go the extra mile.
Trying times help us to keep sight of the worthy factors in life; despite struggles we face daily in lockdown, we know we can emerge from Covid-19 as stronger, better individuals, and soon we will meet again.