With restaurants opening up, gyms braced for those post-lockdown workouts and a slow return to the office, it feels like lockdown is pretty much over. In the last of our #LessonsLearnedInLockdown, let’s reflect on the Big Life Lessons to take away with us into a future void of handshakes, but otherwise as normal as you can get after a global pandemic. By Sadia Nowshin.
Life definitely slowed down during the peak of the pandemic, but there are positives to be taken from that. For @seymouraptor, the biggest lesson from lockdown was: “I love spending time at home with my family. I enjoy the simple things and a slower pace”.
Lockdown meant that many of us, whether we liked it or not, would be spending more time with family than expected. For others, it was the opposite: suddenly, popping over to visit relatives wasn’t an option, and your main form of communication had to be through a screen.
Julia, from Balsall Common (who also happens to be Michael’s lovely mum!) shared:
“ I have learnt that seeing and holding my family and friends is v important. I have despaired at the most surprising people who have logically decided that lockdown was something they could dip in and out of depending upon their own needs.eg using shielding grandparents as child sitters. This level of selfishness has taken my breath away. But somewhat mitigated by senior politicians/ministers who have also put their needs above anyone else’s and have not practised what they’ve preached.
I have learnt, or rather had it confirmed that the present leadership have confused the population and denied responsibility cleverly wording advice so that the general public will bear the blame for the past, present and future failures. They have ensured ‘they’re alright jack’ and have thrown many key workers to the wolves.”
Being stuck inside also made some of us reevaluate our environment, and consider if it was the best thing for us. The biggest lesson @kabs7 took from lockdown is to “enjoy your own surroundings”. It seems we’ve gained a new appreciation for the world around us, an appreciation that wasn’t always possible when ‘normal’ life had us rushing around all the time.
With many trying to cope with having life on hold indefinitely, @miley.marton shared a simple message to take forward: “patience”. Being part of a fast-paced society that is always on the go has made us impatient, and lockdown forced many of us to address that impatience and learn to accept that sometimes, you have to wait for the outcome you’re looking for to find you instead.
Lockdown was also a time of great change. From a reevaluation of if the ‘old’ normal was the best state for society to demands for systemic change, it feels like the past few months will be remembered as a significant point in history.
@zet_be’s lesson from lockdown drew on this sentiment: “the old normal was not fit for purpose, we need to reinvent the societal organisation”. A lot of the flaws within the existing systems were exposed by the pandemic. If we don’t learn from them and advocate for change as a society going forward, then the lessons we’ve learned will go to waste.
TMIK reporter Michael put his reflection hat on too:
“People joked about how lockdown started to feel a little but like Groundhog day – just the same thing over and over.
What I found out, however, is that almost nothing could change in my day-to-day, but I would feel different. Sometimes incredibly productive, other days would be a struggle.
Not only did I learn to notice the small changes in myself, but also accept them and deal with them properly.
I know of friends who struggled in a similar way. Talking through it and realising that we weren’t alone in feeling like that made a huge difference, too.”
I think the biggest takeaway for me has been that time is precious. It’s a cliche, but I look back on all the plans I opted out of or the time I could’ve spent with friends I now haven’t seen for months and won’t see again for a while, and wish that I had some psychic foresight that warned me how important that time would end up being.
The past three years at uni have absolutely flown by and I reckon at some point I’ll look back on the next few years with the same feeling. Thought of 2020 might bring back some traumatic flashbacks… But it’s up to me now to take those opportunities to make the memories I’ll look back fondly on and rather than fixate on the future, enjoy the present.
As a final note: lockdown has been weird, to say the least. Plans were ruined, significant life milestones dampened and we were all forced to accept that we’re not so in control of our own lives as we’d like to think.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, from both my experience of lockdown but also from the brilliant lessons our dear readers contributed, it’s that even in a situation as awful as a global pandemic we can learn important things about both ourselves and the world we live in, and make changes in our lives for good.