LOCKDOWN DIARY: How I turned things around

Aspiring lawyer AVA EDWARDS explains how she found the latest school closure particularly tough - until she changed her mindset

AS soon as Boris announced the third national lockdown, I knew it would be tough.

In the first lockdown, because of the hot weather and not having to do exams, I found it to be much more relaxing and enjoyable. However, this lockdown has been very different.

For me, the first two weeks felt like two months. Following the same routine each day, being sat in front of a laptop for hours, was surprisingly difficult. Yet even when the school day had finished, what was there to do? More homework sat in front of a laptop.

There wasn’t much to look forward to since we had no idea when schools would fully re-open, and life would return to normal. And the news, full of speculation and rumours which frightened people, gave little hope. As a result, I stopped watching the news, at least regularly.

I became extremely unproductive at first, putting little effort into any additional from lessons. The workload for myself was much more than I normally would have had. Then, like many people, I had a lockdown birthday in January where the most exciting thing I could do was get a takeaway dinner.

But then something changed; I knew I had to change my mindset if I were to survive this lockdown.

At first, it was creating lists. Each Sunday night I would write a list of things that I wanted to complete the following week. It could be to finish all my homework by Friday night so that I could enjoy the weekend, or even to do a certain number of home workouts. So, because of these lists, I had become far more efficient in my working whilst also being able to set aside time to relax.

After that, I started to facetime my friends more often. I also began to work on my hobbies more (piano & flute) as I felt more inspired.

Now I know not to feel guilty if I have an unproductive day, since everyone needs their rest. It is hard to be fully motivated in these strange times.

Over half-term sixth formers had a ‘no homework’ rule. For me, I spent this free time catching up on my extended project qualification (EPQ) and undertaking a massive open online course (MOOC), whilst also having plenty of lie-ins and watching movies.

A MOOC is an online course, normally quite short, and you can work at them in your own pace. I chose the introduction to law as that is what I want to study at university. It was with the University of Law and I found it to be very helpful in gaining an idea of what a career in law looks like.

My EPQ is about human rights and how well they protect children in the UK, so I’ve also been doing some wider reading on human rights in general to help my knowledge. I’ve also been looking at past cases where human rights have been breached.

The balance between work and rest is extremely important to help us get through this lockdown. Some days are much harder than others.

As the new half term begins, I feel much more positive about the future.