The OpinionPanel Community is more than just a research panel; it's a platform for young people to express themselves, share their thoughts and experiences with peers, learn from thought-leadership articles and hear alternative views on topical subjects.
This month's post is written by Rahmath Mohammed Marjan, a year 12 college student who recounts her personal experience of what life has been like while living in lockdown.
The Highs and Lows of Living in Lockdown
- By OpinionPanel Member Rahmath Mohammed Marjan
Life in lockdown is a very new concept to all of us around the world. It’s had a huge affect on businesses, healthcare professionals, political parties and educational departments, with everyone racing to find a cure and fight the new found disease. It’s had an affect on each and every one of us, and we all have our own unique story to tell on what life is like. This is my story…
As a year 12 student, I’ve had moments of ups and downs since I went into lockdown eight weeks ago. On the positive side, I’ve been able to do all the things that I don’t usually have time for – exercising, spending more time with my family and catching up on sleep!
However, there are limitations to this situation. A huge struggle of mine is learning new topics without the guidance of my teachers, meaning when I return to school, I’ll not be at my best and won’t have time to revisit these topics due to the tight syllabus.
The impact on future exams
This brings me to my next point. The year 13 and 11 students have had their exams cancelled and thus will be given predicted graded, which may or may not be in their favour. There has been a lot of advice out there for these students and whilst this is great, it’s made me feel left out. Many students like me, who are in their first year of college or sixth form feel that we are not getting the right help and acknowledgement that we deserve during this time.
The jump from GCSE to A Levels is huge – and for many of us, we’re still trying to find our feet. This is why I feel that when it comes time to take our A Level exams, the current situation should be taken into account so that if we do not get our desired results, we have options to improve our grades. Some of my peers are facing challenges like coping with mental health, housing crisis, family issues, lack of access to resources and many other factors during this hard time, which may affect their grades. So should we not have same support that is currently being given to those who’ve already had exams cancelled?
Managing homework in a crowded household
Living with a large family in an overcrowded house while studying in lockdown can also be challenging. It can be quite chaotic some days, but my parents support me all the way. Others may not get this same support.
Life becomes even tougher when all of your teachers set a whole ocean of work every day. Not to say I have a problem with being set plenty of work, but when all six of my teachers set a lot more than normal, it can be overwhelming and quite hard to manage. I find myself working late into nights to try to meet deadlines – having time to exercise becomes a mere myth.
What confuses me the most is when teachers set homework tasks. Where am I supposed to do the normal tasks?
Coping with fasting while in lockdown
On top of being a year 12 student, I’m also a practising Muslim, which means in the middle of all of this, I am fasting from 4 am to 9 pm every day. I stay awake at night – being thankful and patient – whilst using the time in the day to study.
Like I said, we all have a unique story.
Looking forwards, beyond lockdown
Many of my peers agree that the lockdown has negatively impacted our ability to figure out what our next steps should be career-wise. Some of us have already missed opportunities to gain work experience or career advice that would have helped us make these important decisions, so when it comes to choosing the next steps in our pathway or choosing which specific field we’d like to go into, we’re already at a disadvantage.
Thinking about it right now, I see a whole lot of stress coming my way next year.
Staying social without social media
Another problem I am facing in lockdown is the lack of socialising I’m doing – or rather not doing. The majority of my peers have some form of social media, which they often use to keep communication going with one another. For me, I have none of these, so when it comes to catching up on gossip, I’m pretty limited.
I made a conscious decision to stay off of social media, as I know I would get addicted to it, and as a pupil who is expected to achieve outstanding grades, it is a sacrifice I decided to make for the benefit of my grades.
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