How Covid-19 Lockdowns affected Today’s Youth – Birds on the Blog

How Covid-19 Lockdowns affected Today’s Youth

Over the past 2 years Covid-19 Lockdowns affected everyone differently, but generally, many people gained something from this experience. However, one group that we rarely hear from when it comes to this experience is today’s youth, in which I include myself.

My name is Cerys, I’m a year 10 student now and I was a year 8 when the first lockdown started. I enjoy reading, writing, baking with my mum and picnics with my friends. I was someone who struggled with some parts of lockdown at first however I enjoyed lockdown overall and I would like for you to let me explain my own experiences and feelings of this period of time. I would also like to tell you about the thoughts of my peers. Let’s see what you think.

The benefits

If you’re introverted, like me lockdown was the perfect break we needed. Sure, it took a while for people to acclimatise to new work and school conditions. However, I didn’t much pressure.

There was never a teacher standing over our shoulder, peering at our work. There was never the overwhelming fear of embarrassing yourself – because no one else would see. It also helped that vital snack breaks could be taken at any time, as well those crucial toilet breaks no-one could say “no.”

Some teachers experienced technical difficulties but that took the pressure off students as we had less of a full timetable and didn’t need to be restricted to a schedule. There was also that extra hour where we could sleep in as we didn’t have to walk or catch the bus!

The break away from school was a well needed reprieve as the school environment can be a lot to handle. This can be from the high expectations we have of ourselves and others, to the stares and glares of our peers which can lead to our own insecurities. Whilst being away from our friends was tough, being away from that type of negativity was rejuvenating.

Then there was creative freedom over how we interpreted tasks, and there were quizzes that we thought were fun and light-hearted. There were times of possibly hogging the computer so siblings had to play games elsewhere. And it would’ve been great to have a professional technical setup instead of using our phones for school sessions. There were times when housework or chores were missed because of the time taken in changing and adapting to this new way of living.

So much unknown. Nobody knew when schools would reopen and when life would return back to some sort of “normal.” We basked in the freedom we had whilst it was there, but two weeks off school which garnered cheers, turned into two months that lead to a harder curriculum as there would be much to catch up on when we returned.

The setbacks

This break wasn’t always taken lightly. Whilst the anxiety of being surrounded by teenagers whispering and laughing was gone, the deadlines and meetings were still ever present and looming over our heads.

Unfortunately, not everything in lockdown was perfect. Nothing ever is, and there were some major pushbacks experienced. Albeit some didn’t have any difficulties, and some were quite trivial, such as being stuck in the house for too long (which admittedly was difficult in the middle of summer) but many agreed that lockdowns could potentially become a period of isolation and panic for many.

Many took a lot of the freedom we had for granted and slept in that little bit longer, claimed to have completed tasks they’d never even spared a glance, and many fell down the ladder their study footing and fell a little too far which pushed them deeper into anxiety. However, this could have been changed with different approaches to work and mentality.

The deep-rooted issue with lockdown that doesn’t seem to have been acknowledged, is that it was the test we needed to see how strong our self-motivation was. There were solutions to these problems, such as finding what made students motivated. We could look at a task and make it fun. We didn’t have to let it weigh us down.

For example, a maths problem or a history essay that we had to complete which drained our energies completely, but we could have made it a challenge, we could involve our families for help. Any option other than giving up and not trying could’ve led to a lot less stress. However, we must also appreciate that it’s difficult to find anything enjoyable in stressful periods which lead to that small slip on a rung and the ripple effect it caused.

Reports sent home revealing truths, deadlines that were pushed to the back of our minds became sirens blaring because no matter how much you ignore a problem, it never truly disappears. Many I have spoken with agree that lockdown made them panic.

It’s fair to say many of us didn’t know what the procedure was, never having experienced this before after all, which only made everything worse as change isn’t easy at the best of times. However luckily, my school recognised these challenges and wiped the slate clean. Anyone who had struggled to complete tasks, or those who outright ignored them, didn’t have to panic about punishments as teachers and students alike started fresh.

By the next time another lockdown came around, we had a renewed sense of energy, a new want to succeed and we knew what to do this time. That’s not to say the following lockdowns weren’t stressful and harrowing, but we knew how to manage it better that time.

Conclusion

In short, lockdowns have been both a dream and a nightmare, depending on whose perception you are looking from. However, this has been the perception of my peers and me. I am also aware that many in the older generation also struggled which is why it’s important to appreciate and validate all experiences. Which leads me to my closing question: how were your lockdown experiences?

About the Author Cerys Thomas

I’m a year 10 student now and I was a year 8 when the first lockdown started. I enjoy reading, writing, baking with my mum and picnics with my friends. I was someone who struggled with some parts of lockdown at first however I enjoyed lockdown overall and I would like for you to let me explain my own experiences and feelings of this period of time. I would also like to tell you about the thoughts of my peers. Let’s see what you think.