Picture this. You’ve spent months hoping to secure an internship that will allow you to do everything you want to do in your future career, and you are just about to start your first day there. You get out of the car, walk into the building, meet everyone, and find out that Canberra is going into lockdown for a week within the first two hours of starting. Pretty god awful timing, right?
You’re telling me.
In case you haven’t put two and two together, this is exactly what happened to me on the 12th of August 2021, on the first day of my f*%king internship. But hey, here I am. I’m still alive, and STILL haven’t got coronavirus *touches wood*.
Luckily for me, I have still been able to do my internship throughout the constant lockdown extensions, so really, the only thing I lost was the feeling of actually DOING an internship. Every Thursday and Friday I interview people (via Zoom, obvs), and write articles for the University of Canberra’s UnCover and Newsroom platforms, and the experience has still been amazing.
This is one of six ways that I have been getting through the lockdown relatively positively. This post will share the remainder of my extraordinarily unprofessional suggestions, which I hope will inspire you.
Make the most of things like university, school and internship work. WTF else are you gonna do?
Online uni is hard, there’s no doubt about that. It’s also absolutely not what I signed up for after receiving my ATAR in 2018. BUT, I am grateful for the routine, and being forced to Zoom a number of other struggling uni students to remind me that I am not alone.
The 1,000,000 assignments I have right now that are constantly looming over me are a little stressful. I won’t even bother trying to sugarcoat that. However, every day I have been waking up with tasks to complete, and each task takes time! TIME PEOPLE! Has anyone else found that we’ve had a little bit too much of it recently? Perfect! Why not spend some of it doing that essay you have due in three days. I see you. Trust me!
Exercise. I hate it, but I love it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved a good walk. But exercise, to me, has a whole new purpose in lockdown. Some days, it’s gonna feel like the last thing you want to do, but once you get going, it’s just so GOOD. My mum and I have started going for walks around dinner time each day, purely to walk around the streets and smell everyone’s dinners. Seems a little beside the point, but hey, don’t shake it till you try it.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve really been missing my people during lockdown. In the ACT right now, you ARE able to exercise with a small number of other people, so MAKE THE MOST OF IT. I am unbelievably grateful to be able to walk with my boyfriend and my family, and intend to make the most of this opportunity to see my friends safely, even if it means getting 28,000 steps each day.
Routine. Ticking of a to-do list feels so. good.
I have been waking up by 8:00am every single day, doing my skincare, having a coffee, and doing something fun before starting every working day. I have a MacBook Pro, so I have been using the stickie notes feature to put to-do lists on my desktop every day. Now, I mostly do my tasks just so I can feel a little bit of joy after I tick them off. But hey, that’s okay! Shit! Is! Getting! Done!
I find that this is the best way to make sure I don’t waste the days away. At the moment, the easy option is staying in bed all day every day, but the little push a that having a routine gives you to get stuff done changes everything. But also, it’s okay to stay in bed all day SOME days. I think I attended two of my three uni classes this week with pyjama pants on.
Getting outside, and this doesn’t just mean exercise.
Whenever I can, I have been relocating my work space to my balcony, and writing my essays and articles outside. It really changes the game. Not only is it just a change of scenery, but its nice to feel the sun on your skin and the air in your lungs. Makes you remember that you’re alive, you know?
I should mention, I have pretty bad hay fever, so going outside at the moment is partnered with multiple sneezes and a little bit of allergy induced crying (I swear it’s allergies). So if I can do it, YOU CAN BLOODY DO IT TOO.
Pushing yourself. Persistence is key.
This comes back to the point about school and exercise, but being stuck in lockdown is a better motivation destroyer than being asked to carry a bag full of dog poop on a family walk. On multiple occasions, I have had many things to do, and from the moment of waking up have had absolutely zero desire to do them. But, one thing I have noticed is, once you get going and start making the most out of the situation in front of you, you truly begin to see the benefits.
Persistence is key in scenarios like this. You can do it, just get started and make the most of it.
Finally, perspective. Worse things have happened (and are happening).
Unless, of course, you actually have coronavirus, in which case I’m sorry. I would just like to throw your attention briefly to what is currently happening in Afghanistan. Also, I bet you are reading this on a phone in your nice bedroom in your nice house with your (hopefully) nice housemates or family members. (Thank you for reading this by the way, this is not an attack, please don’t leave.)
What I am saying is, we have the ability to make the most of this truly scary time. Most of us lucky ones are still surrounded by great people and excellent opportunities, we just need to remember that. Keep things in perspective, you’re still alive and young, and the world remains your oyster, even though its currently more of a blobfish (don’t google that).
Obviously, all of this is coming from a position of pure privilege. I am living in a house in a nice neighbourhood, surrounded by people I can see, being fully vaccinated and completely healthy. I can understand for some people, these solutions will provide absolutely no help at all. My heart goes out to all the people who have had (and continue to have) a truly shit time. I hope this post will inspire some people, at least, to try something new.