My week as a student in lockdown

From my birthday to online mock exams, my first day back at work and my thoughts on Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’, this is how my week went…

Monday – my birthday. On Monday I turned 19 and celebrated by going on a (socially distant) walk with my friend and by eating pizza. I opened my presents in the morning and then sat outside in the garden with my mum. Nice and healthy, I had a bar of Marvellous Creations for lunch and then a friend came over to my house to go on a walk. My family and I ordered Domino’s pizza for dinner and then had birthday cake. My heart was beating worryingly quickly by the end of the day after the amount of sugar I’d consumed. I’d fallen asleep on the sofa by 11.30 after having a few G&Ts, not quite the end to my birthday I would have hoped for in a world not effected by coronavirus, but still a very good day.

Tuesday – with my heart rate back to normal, I treated myself to a very leisurely morning on Tuesday. At lunchtime, I attended an interesting guest lecture, held virtually by a man who was a political correspondent for the Daily Mirror. He said that to advance your position in the journalism sphere in Westminster, hanging around in pubs and buying important people drinks can get you places – sounds like I’m on the right course. Still not dressed, I watched this lecture in my pyjamas while finishing off the leftover pizza from last night. The afternoon was very hot and I started reading Normal People by Sally Rooney after hearing many good things about it online. I’m not too impressed so far, but I will give you my final verdict later in the week. A huge box, sent by my cousin living in Japan, arrived in the afternoon containing a load of facemasks and all sorts of Japanese treats. By the evening, I had reached the level of boredom where I reorganised by bedroom.

Wednesday – an unideal 7-30 am start for me. I have been learning to write in shorthand this year at university (I’m studying journalism) and had a mock exam at 9. Due to being in lockdown, this exam took place over a Zoom meeting with my teacher and other members of my class. At the end of the exam, we had to email photos of our shorthand to the teacher. I didn’t do too well. Feeling guilty for all the chocolate, dominos and cake this week, I went on a 5K run after my exam and had a salad for lunch. Not feeling too guilty however, as that was then followed by another piece of cake, two beers, a barbeque for dinner and more chocolate. I have no shame. Besides eating to fill the time, the rest of the day was very uneventful.

Thursday – my first day back to work in 6 weeks. I got the 9.40 train to Sheffield (I’ve become a commuter) to head back to Sainsbury’s for an 11-7 shift. Despite being prepared with a mask, hand sanitiser and gloves, I came nowhere near anyone else at the station or on the train. There was only one other lady in my carriage who was a railway worker. During the journey, another worker entered the carriage, I overheard the two of them complaining about having nowhere to take a break while on shift. The first lady told the second that her manager had told her to break ‘in the room at the end of the platform’ to which lady number 1 said was too small to social distance from another worker also on their break in there. I hope they were able to find a safe place to break. Getting off the train, Sheffield was strangely quiet and abandoned looking. I barely crossed anyone making my way up from the station to the city centre, an area normally heaving with commuters, students and workers. Arriving at work, it was strange to see all the PPE in place and the lack of customers throughout the day. Had a Magnum for lunch. Got the train back at 7.30. Had meatballs for tea.

Friday – another unwelcomed early start on Friday, thanks to another shorthand mock at 9, (slightly better than Tuesday’s performance.) After one day of travelling to work yesterday, I then called every Sainsbury’s in Leicestershire today to see if they were able to give me a transfer (which they weren’t – back to Sheff it is). I finished reading ‘Normal People’ on Friday morning, which I wouldn’t recommend. I really don’t understand its appeal and didn’t think it was anything special, maybe the TV series is better. My brother made me a BBQ chicken wrap for lunch. I had yet another mock this afternoon, called ‘Essential Journalism’- not a shorthand one this time, but I think it went okay-ish. I went on a run after my exam, not a long one – it was far too windy but still nice to get out of the house. Another uneventful Friday evening and an early night – as I have a train to catch at 7.12 in the morning to Sheffield for work tomorrow.

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