Experiences of 2020

Maya - Student

My worry began when the panic buying started. When people were buying toilet roll for the year, pasta was a pleasure of the past and paracetamol nowhere to be seen. The strict lockdowns occurring throughout Europe, and my shocking behaviour where I found myself racing a man to the shop shelf for the last box of coco pops, catalysed my realisation of the seriousness for what was ahead.

For the following week, I kept in touch with my family, Grandparents and Grannie notifying them of the early shopping times introduced in the supermarkets and to stay safe. Before I knew it, my flatmate and I were to move out of our student flat. The night of the broadcast my flatmates mum got on the midnight boat from Northern Ireland to Scotland, and the following day my mum collected me to go home to Aberdeen.

This has been a frightening, sad and difficult time. My thoughts on the lockdown are the struggle and suffering of people left behind. Where alike many over summer, I couldn't work my usual hospitality job, instead I volunteered to provide hot meals for those in need. My grannie and grandparents couldn't socialise like usual. My brother has the battle of securing a job, and my friends and girlfriend have had to improvise their talents. All of this is a challenge to people's mental health. I think more than ever, it is essential for communities to arise in encouragement, support one another and, for people to know we are here for each other.

As a politics student, lockdown brought me to question the systems of the day. But it also made me appreciate how far humanity has come, where we have technology and communication platforms to aid the combat of COVID-19. I spent time looking after myself and bettering my perspective on life. I spent the most time consecutively I had in a long time with some of my closest friends, however via zoom, still valued and sentimental. Lockdown was a blessing in disguise for me because of the time I got to spend with my family, and I was able to support my mum working so hard for the NHS throughout the pandemic.

Personally, lockdown and the elements of it that limit our lives, I am happy to do, knowing the purpose is to save someone's life and to protect people's health. I welcome the new norm such as 'circuit breakers' if they are necessary to control the transmission of the virus. Lockdown and the new normal is challenging, and it's nothing like my generation, or even my parents, have experienced, but we must come together.

I am part of a deep-connected student community to which I am grateful for. The Women's Football Club has announced a buddy scheme to help new students settle into life in Stirling. We must do our part, to look out for one another and for our neighbours, stay connected socially as we can, to look after our mental health and those of others.