Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: MSL

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from student, MSL. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown

Lockdown week one: “All exams cancelled!? 6 months holiday oh what freedom this will be. No responsibilities sounds good eh?”.

Lockdown week 5: “I’m starting to get quite bored…. I’ve already done a full clean out of my room, read and watched the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy, tried to learn guitar and piano again but to no avail….”

Lockdown week 10: “What am I doing…? I miss my friends. All I do is watch endless streams of YouTube videos and play Candy Crush all day.”

Lockdown has turned me into a potato.

The song “Mayday” voices the feelings of many:
“Awake or asleep
Drowning in my own thoughts
It’s alright, it’s not too bad…
I need some excitement
Everything’s so frustrating
I just want to be comfortable
But it’s harder than it should be
Nothing’s wrong
You know, the stress
What’s wrong with me
I did absolutely nothing today but I’m exhausted
Why is it so hard to just relax, mayday
Somebody help me, mayday”

Everything seems to be disconnected nowadays. I’m no longer living my life but simply waiting, killing time. Just a couple months ago time was all I needed but now there’s too much of it. It seems to go so slow, yet I look back and already 12 weeks have passed, and what have I done? I should have gotten my driving licence by now, I should have been able to earn money for university with my part time job, I should have gone to theatres, concerts, gone on holiday with my friends. But I couldn’t. It is so frustrating to see myself trapped at home watching time slip through my hands when I should be living out the prime time of my youth! It shouldn’t have been like this…

Relationships with others seem to be slowly deteriorating. Friends that I used to see every day, our busy lives in high school cut short, making rushed goodbyes. No high school graduation celebration, no prom, that’s just how it all ended. A flashback to when we made false promises to call every day; we barely call once a month. We should call more. Can’t blame anyone. I do really miss them, but just never quite reach out.

In terms of academics, should I still be studying? Theoretically yes, in practice no. With no incentive, there is no motivation and studying drops far down my list of things I could do. Every day I go without opening my books neatly piled in the corner of my room, all the knowledge I crammed into my brain over the past year fades away one by one. It is a constant internal fight between my laziness and the fear that by the time university comes around, I will be the one unable to adapt to the high-tension learning environment. Feelings of my lack of purpose also chase me. Has the goal of my life really just been studying? I’m sure other students will be experiencing similar feelings of uncertainty and stress during this time particularly regarding exam results and university. Yet again all we can do is wait.

I know that I shouldn’t be complaining. I’m blessed with a good house, good family and good health. For some that is all they would wish for. I know there are people out there that are really struggling physically, mentally and financially. I should be grateful, and I am, but I still find myself stuck at home doing nothing. All I can do is pray for them and volunteer where I can.

It hasn’t all been bad. Taking my “Daily Walk” as a means of exercise as well as a reason to escape the house and refresh my mind from all the stress and worrying news in the media. I’ve done a bit of gardening, baking, lots of scrolling on Instagram and Twitter (not helpful but kills time).

It’s quite sad that my past 3 months can be summarised in less than a page and a half but hopefully things will get better. Perhaps my 2021 will be a bit longer….

Want to write for Letters from Cardiff in lockdown? Find out how here…

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