Life as a Disabled Student Post-Lockdown
I hope that you’re all continuing to have an enjoyable and safe summer.
Today I want to talk about something that is quite personal to me- my feelings on being a disabled student post national lockdown. I know that this is niche, but I think that it’s important to share my feelings.
On 23rd March 2020, it was made official that I would have to self-isolate for 12 weeks due to my ‘vulnerable’ status in regards to Covid 19. Although my Cerebral Palsy doesn’t cause issues that would be further complicated if I were to catch the disease, I complied with what was asked of me (as we all should). Anyway, if I were to end up in hospital I would need multiple nurses to attend to my needs. In a time when the NHS was under such strain, I felt it the right thing to do to follow the rules in order to avoid getting sick.
Those 12 weeks were really rather strange. To begin with, I had to prep for exams. I actually welcomed this because at least it gave me something to focus on. I then sat the exams and…that was it. Suddenly, I had nothing left that I had to do. I spent the next few weeks completely invested Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I brought the game at the beginning of the lockdown, but obviously university was my priority at that point. In between playing the game, I began reading my way through the Mary Poppins series of books in preparation for my dissertation. Having to read books that were written for children was a welcome break from the complexities of the academic texts that I have become so used to.
Luckily I enjoy my own company and did not suffer with any negative mental health issues during this period. I cannot imagine what it was like for those who did, but my heart truly goes out to them. I will say that staring at the same four walls for the majority of the day did become slightly monotonous though, and I was so happy the day that it was announced that me and my Mom would be able to relocate to our wonderful caravan in North Wales. I felt as though that this was our reward for 12 weeks of following the rules.
We have been here at the caravan site since the 11th July and I couldn’t be happier. We’re still being very cautious and wearing masks where they are needed, but it’s great to be able to do more nice things now. We’re also waiting on a visit from my Dad, who works in Saudi Arabia and hasn’t been home for 8 months due to the pandemic.
Surprisingly, this new found freedom has left me feeling somewhat unmotivated. I’m having such a wonderful time that it’s hard to find the motivation to prep for the return to university. Of course I do, but there is a underlying sense of guilt that I should have been more productive during the period of self-isolation. Hang on, I’m saying that like I did nothing for 12 weeks- I prepped for and sat online exams! There has been such a rhetoric around being productive during the lockdown that it’s sometimes hard to see your own achievements.
I cannot wait to get back to university, even though it will be different than before. I’ve missed my department so much! I’m not sure what the point of this post was. Perhaps I just wanted to share my story see if any of you share my feelings. Have any of you felt unmotivated post-lockdown? Let me know in the comments below, as I’m sure that you were more productive than you give yourself credit for!