In the past two months, all of our lives have changed in ways we could have never imagined. So many things have been ripped away from us that we normally expect to have to hand at the drop of a hat. It all feels a bit dystopian. But the absence of so many elements of our lifestyle has helped me to realise what I’ve been taking for granted for years, and what I need to start being more grateful for when normality can finally resume:
- Friends. I’ve always adored my friends, but I definitely took for granted our coffee dates and cocktail evenings. Seeing my friends throughout the day used to keep me sane, but now I can’t help feeling distant because of our lack of contact, especially with those living just around the corner.
- Uni houses. Yes they carpets were gross and there was some mould that we just could not get rid of, but I loved cooking together, watching trash TV, and scaring ourselves with true crime documentaries at midnight.
- Hugs. I count myself as a hugger, so not being able to have the human contact which I love has felt like I’ve lost a comfort blanket that I didn’t realise I needed.
- Coffee. I’ve been craving a flat white since the first day of lockdown.
- Spoons. Yes, Wetherspoons is pretty grotty, but I miss meeting all of my friends in there and undoubtably seeing at least 10 people from my old school who I make awkward eye contact with.
- The Gym. I’m not exactly a gym bunny, but I really miss the treadmill. It’s hard to motivate yourself to work out when you have to follow Chloe Ting doing exercises you’ve never been strong enough to do.
- Maccies. This goes without saying.
- Lectures. I never thought I’d say this, but I never appreciated the productivity boost which going to my lectures and making some banging notes gave me. Doesn’t quite feel the time when it’s pre-recorded.
- The NHS. I think most of us have always seen the National Health Service as one of this country’s best assets, but this pandemic has really made me realise how invaluable it is and how dedicated its staff are to helping us. Without it, the country would be in deep trouble right about now.
On top of this, certain parts of the ‘new normal’ have shown me that there are loads of things which I took for granted before I’d even heard of coronavirus that are now hugely valuable parts of lockdown-life:
- Sunshine. Studying in the garden and feeling the sun on my skin has been a god-send on days when I feel the most deprived of freedom.
- Puzzles. Who knew they could be so entertaining?
- Supermarkets. My weekly shopping trips have become the most productive thing I do all week, and the friendly cashiers who are always ready for a chat really put a smile on my face.
- Box sets. The classics like Gavin & Stacey and Friday Night Dinner have been a life-saver.
- Zoom. To be fair, I had no idea this existed before lockdown, but now I’m not sure what I’d do without it.
- Quizzes. It’s fair to say I’m addicted, and I have no regrets about it. I’m 100% more dedicated to getting a good mark in them than I am in my formative assessments.
- Selflessness. The things which our key are giving up just so we can stay safe, provided for, and entertained, is out of this world. It’s really proved to me that humans have an unbound capacity for kindness, and it’s given me hope that if we continue to utilise this selflessness, both during and after the pandemic, then the future of the world could be brighter.