Young person’s takeover: ‘Lockdown left me feeling lethargic and unable to get out of bed’

Fae Loades, 15, representing Great Yarmouth YAB. Picture: YAB

Fae Loades, 15, representing Great Yarmouth YAB. Picture: YAB - Credit: Archant

Aimee Mathison, 16, is from Breckland Youth Advisory Board, and shares what impact lockdown had on her.

City College Norwich logo. Picture: CCN

City College Norwich logo. Picture: CCN - Credit: City College Norwich

Lockdown for me was like someone hitting a pause button, during the most crucial point of my high school career.

The world slowed to a halt. And to begin with I found that confusing, spending time at home with no work to do after five years of trying my hardest. I should’ve been cracking through textbooks by now, studying into the night driven by the anxiety of taking my official GCSEs.

And although I hadn’t realised it at first, as time felt like it was merging into one, I began to see it as a form of rehab for me as a workaholic. I could go out on my bike, disappear for hours and no one could stop me. I could sit and watch that film without feeling guilty about not doing my homework. And best of all it gave me time to spend with my sister before she moved away to university.

Unfortunately lockdown brought great losses to us in year 11. No fancy dress day, no leavers assembly, no prom and no final goodbyes. I still remember the feeling of disappointment on the faces of all the year 11’s as the news was announced that schools were closing.

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In the final minutes we stood together standing in the hall singing ‘you’ll never walk alone’ with arms round each other’s shoulders, with enough tears to fill a swimming pool. Another thing I lost was my motivation. With no purpose I fell into a cycle of going to bed later than I ever had before and sleeping well into the day.

I got trapped, feeling lethargic, not wanting to get out of bed. My parents found me incredibly difficult to handle and I would often just start crying.

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If you would have asked me if I was worried about life after lockdown a couple of months ago, the answer would have been a massive yes, but am I worried now? No I wouldn’t say I am. With the safety precautions in place, such as hand washing, face masks and social distancing, I’m not scared to go into a shop, school or going out. Although it has been tough looking from an outside view I feel lucky, not having to worry about financial pressures, and being in a high risk category. Lockdown has been a strange lesson to all of us.

- The impact of Covid on young people is the subject of a special online debate involving teenagers from the region. Sponsored by City College Norwich and in association with MAP, it will be hosted by EDP editor David Powles tonight (Tuesday, September 15) at 5pm. To watch or take part in the debate click the link here .

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