My lockdown experience. A Year 9 student reflects on the last two months

Tackling boredom, finding a routine, and a word of advice for parents

Zak Yusef

Year 9 student

A teenager’s dream.

No school for 2 months and yes it was a dream for the first week and then it kicked in.

We were going to be under house arrest indefinitely for an unknown period of time and I think it was at this point I realised the harsh reality. This was not going away in 1 week or 2, it would go on for many weeks even months.

In this piece, I will be totally honest with you about how lockdown feels as a teenager and my honest opinions and experiences.

Boring

You see the single biggest distraction is the phone and regardless of where you put it, it always seems to end up in my room distracting me, with another post, and it all starts with replying to that one message from your friend, to a casual scroll through instagram, which inevitably leads to the 2 hour Netflix movie and before you even know it, it’s 10pm.

I conducted a survey among my peers and asked them to describe lockdown in one word and one word came up more than all of the others combined, and yes you guessed it: Boring.

Now, I could sit here and tell you about how boring lockdown has been but I will just be doing what everyone else has been doing. As an extroverted person, lockdown hasn’t been that bad and I’ve learnt maybe I’m not as extroverted as I thought. I genuinely enjoy the time that I wouldn’t have had, to do stuff that I’ve always wanted to do. Although it can get boring, in a big city every day goes so fast and every hour feels like a second and lockdown has given us the time to appreciate the little things that allow society to function, for example the NHS, emergency services and teachers.

Exercise

I’d also like to point out the fact that organisations like the Trussell Trust who are helping the less fortunate in society effectively live and they are playing a massive role in ensuring the safety of society’s most vulnerable.

I’d also like to address the fact that although teenagers may seem unwilling to talk about their day and how lockdown is for them, it is imperative as a parent you try to discuss the state of their mental wellbeing because it is hard being away from normality and your friends for such a long period of time.

As we are at home we will tend to spend more time on our phones and this can be a bad habit because what I’ve seen personally is that you rely on it more to do stuff that has nothing to do with your phone.

Luckily, for readers I have concocted the perfect remedy: Exercise.

A lot of families don’t go out together and explore the wilderness, so use this extra time to go out and enjoy the outdoors, as we hardly ever do it due to our busy schedules.

Although your child may seem reluctant at first, so try and incorporate what they enjoy doing in some kind of outdoor exercise.

Routine

As a teenager who loves to game sometimes you can get carried away and forget about the time  and as I already mentioned by the time you finished gaming it can get very very late so to ensure that I keep my sanity I’ve tried to keep a sleep schedule as well as trying to go bed early so I can wake up early the next day. Organisation and a good sleep schedule have helped me massively in attending all lessons on time and in an energetic state. It also keeps some sort of normality and I think that it helps for at least a few things to stay consistent for me because I believe that it’s the consistency that has helped me keep a sense of normality which has played a major role in ensuring my sanity.

37% of people in my Borough live in poverty and I know this will have everlasting effects as we see the gap between the rich and the poor increase significantly. Many people I know have no internet at home let alone a device and I find it sad people are deprived of the right to learn due to their socio-economic background. I know it’s hard to revise as it is with the internet for some but others don’t even have the internet and during lockdown have learnt little to nothing.

Change

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