Experiences of 2020

MSYP Takeover - Lauren Kelly, Uddingston & Bellshill

In December of 2019, I went out on a whim and left school early to spend 2020 doing everything I love and enjoy before travelling 120 miles away from home for university.

I didn’t get any of it done.

I always thought 2020 was going to be the big year. End of high school, a long, warm summer, and then the start of university. A year of promises of excitement, friendship, family, and parties became the endless months of Netflix, sleep and chicken soup.

The lockdown was the easy part. No schoolwork, unable to get a job, meant I had 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to myself. I very quickly got into the habit of staying up late and spending most of the days in bed. To me, this was amazing.

The problems started when the restrictions started to lift, and I moved. The constant fear of catching COVID mixed with student accommodations becoming hotspots has been enough for me to hibernate in the flat. The fear caught up to me the morning of my 18th when 1 of my friends phoned to say they had tested positive. Luckily, due to my nervousness of catching COVID, I had not been in contact with them in over 2 weeks. This was the first time I’d had someone I knew test positive and show symptoms. And from the way they describe having it, I do not want it.

My flatmate turned to me the other day and said “imagine this court (referring to the central outside bit of our accommodation) once social distancing is lifted” and I think that is my motivation. The thought of the change the day we no longer must stay 2 metres from each other. I see COVID as a long, dark winter. Everyone bundles down into their homes and they stay in there until the spring comes. So, I think of the summer to come.

I can’t wait to hug my nana again. I can’t wait to hear blaring music out a flat nearby having a party without police cars on the street for the next hour. The first warm day when me and my friends can have a day on the beach together. The first time we can sit in the kitchen till 4am chatting.

The light at the end of the tunnel does exist. COVID will not be forever. I think of all the things I took for granted before, that I can’t do now. This isn’t permanent.