The following message comes from Emily Turner, House Captain of Darwin House:

To all my fellow Darwin students,

The days of getting up religiously at 7:30am; making sure homework and books were packed ready in the bag, and the stress of making sure you’re out the door on time and prepared for any eventuality, seem like a distant memory. Now, like everyone, I curse the days I have to be up at 9.00am for a 9:15am Teams meeting. It’s a productive day if I’ve opened my curtains before 8:45am. The world we have been catapulted into, evidently, is a far cry from normality but we’ve each remarkably adapted, battling through, coping in each way we can. 

Like everyone, I am missing the normality we haven’t felt since early last year and I know, for me, as time goes on, the gravity of the pandemic becomes ever more real. As a Year 11 I’ve experienced the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen with exams, to having them cancelled. As much as I’m not complaining about that, it has definitely had a negative impact on my motivation coupled with increased pressure; I know I’m not the only one feeling this. It’s easier said than done but don’t put too much pressure on yourself – I find that trying to force myself to do loads of work on days when I feel unmotivated and tired isn’t a good combination. Try and do more on days you feel more motivated.

For me, I’ve rejected the methods that didn’t work well in the first lockdown and continued with ways that worked. For example, separating my school work area from my bedroom has proved beneficial and has meant I’ve been able to structure my day creating a sense of normality – I definitely recommend doing this if you have the space. Another thing that’s really helped me stay motivated is having something to look forward to. Whether that’s a walk with a friend or a Facetime night with friends or family. This helps me prioritise what I do making sure I get work done, to a good standard, and making sure I am focussed and not procrastinating.

Whilst we have the opportunity to spend time with our immediate family, I’m trying to make the most of that, as it’s so easy to just hide away on your phone scrolling through TikTok for hours, I know I do. One of the biggest lessons lockdown has taught me is to find enjoyment in small things we’d otherwise take for granted.

I hope you all are staying safe and managing fine. Look forward to hopefully a better summer and don’t forget that life has slowed down, so don’t put too much pressure on yourselves.