LOCKDOWN DIARY: Concentrating on the positives second time around

Lower sixth form student LILLIE SHARPE compares 

Lockdown 1 to Lockdown 3 and talks about the activities that are helping her get through being confined to home again

I FOUND the first lockdown much harder than this one. Suddenly having no school to go to back in March, every day seemed extremely long.

This time, I have found it helpful to concentrate on the positives. In the first lockdown, I only thought about what I couldn’t do, which, being in Year 11, was quite a lot. All those experiences I was missing: I didn’t have a prom, exams (which I had worked hard for), or even just a summer holiday to enjoy.

It is easier now, as I’m in lower sixth form and therefore don’t have exams this year. I try to see this as a time to get ahead in my subjects and use all this extra time to do things I wouldn’t normally be able to fit in. For example, I have more time to focus on hobbies, such as art and piano.

I try to go on a walk every day, for a break from my work and to get outside – otherwise I suddenly realise that I haven’t left the house in days. Luckily, I have horses as well, so I have the opportunity to go on a ride in the outdoors, whilst staying socially distanced.

My hobbies are also a great distraction, something that isn't school. They take up a substantial period of time, yet I don’t feel like I have wasted my time.

In the first lockdown, I found it hard to feel productive (I think this was due to my lack of structure), so I make it a priority to keep myself busy with a variety of activities.

Without a social life, schoolwork is what I mainly stay occupied with. Having online school gives me something to fill my days with and ensures there’s still a little structure to the week. I actually prefer online lessons, it’s much easier not having to be at school and I get a lot more work done.

The first lockdown was really unexpected and a completely new experience. I think we have all had to adapt over time – to the point where it now feels normal. Now I can’t really remember what it was like before.

As someone who never went out much in the first place, this lockdown doesn’t seem much different to how life was before. Obviously, I can’t see my friends, but I can keep in touch with them by text.

I read and keep up to date with the news, but only to an extent. In the initial lockdown, I think the news was just a reminder of what I couldn’t do, with endless opinions plastered all over social media, about how long this pandemic would last, along with an angry rant here and there – which wasn’t helpful at all.

Now I try to stay away from negative social media pandemic posts and don’t obsess over every announcement.

Ultimately, this lockdown feels much less distressing than when it all started.