Deputy Editors' Column

Working hard or hardly working?

I’m sitting at home in my garden as I write this. Most of you are also sat at home, twiddling your thumbs, unsure of what to do.  This unprecedented time has made us all question what activities we do in order to keep ourselves busy. Should we take this abundance of time to work, finish our essays, start writing a blog, maybe start a small business? Or do we use this time to be a different kind of productive – to read that book, watch a film we’ve never had the time to or to try our hand at baking?

Really, we can do whatever we want to. This unprecedented time has come with an overwhelming a pressure to succeed and be productive. This pressure can be really harmful to those who have had their mental wellbeing impacted as a result of lockdown. Just because we have been handed a large amount of free time doesn’t mean that we have to use it to be academically productive. We can be productive in any little way we choose. I’ve been sorting through all my old GCSE and A-Level notes, not because it is academically productive, but because I wanted to. It’s okay to only do the things you want to. If you want to sit outside and read in the sun, then don’t feel bad about it. It is a relaxing activity to become calm in this messy coronavirus storm. All of the tasks that may seem menial to some are not to others. In time such as this we need to build a strong community which supports each other, not knock each other down for being ‘lazy’ or ‘unproductive’. 

We are all stuck in our houses, in various location across the country. We all have deadlines, but I’m sure every student’s mental health has been impact negatively as a result of the virus and the lockdown. Yes, we are young, but we need to take this time to lick our wounds and recover from the loss of our time at university. So yes, be productive, but think about what being productive really means to you, and then chose to do whatever makes you happy. 

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Jess Barrett

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July 2022
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