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Hello all,

Hope you are well and still keeping positive within Lockdown 3.0.

Today, I’m going to do something a little different and just write this letter to you all, about how I’m doing in this time and hopefully reach out to all of you who may be feeling similar.

When I say, I’m a drama student- most people would think of someone who lives their life on a stage, pratice rooms full of people making weird shapes and pretending to be trees (which I have done but don’t judge it). Though now, in this time that feels more like a fantasy than something I was doing only 3 months again, which I luckily was able to do.

Working with a mask on, is not the most glamorous thing in the world but it was not the torture that it appears to be. I was able to work in a class of 7 people, all socially distanced and in masks, but still in a pratice room. It was a strange experience, a warped sense of a familiar feeling of going into the room. Nevertheless, I was excited to do things after the nervousness we felt in Lockdown 2 of not knowing if life can be a little bit normal again. However, I also felt fear and frustration- fear that, I was doing my degree, all the while I kept seeing on  the news how the industry, I wanted to go into was ‘crumbling’ and going to be ‘CLOSED FOREVER!’ – Oh, the horror of it all! But it scared me of the anxieties what if it did, then what would I do, nevertheless, I just kept going to my classes and tried to solider through the fear that this wouldn’t be so.

And frustrated, I was upset that it just didn’t feel the same, it didn’t feel like the same degree and my experiences would they amount to the same, if I can’t properly perform.  This whole thing was just a whirlwind of emotions for three months and put me into a strange place.

Now in Lockdown 3, I miss that feeling but I also learnt from it. Now all my class I am sad to saying are online, which is still a strange sensation. Nevertheless those 3 months taught me a lot in how to cope in this strange circumstance. But I’ll break it down to three things.

1, Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself – Sometimes anxiety can take over in a difficult situation, it’s okay to take a day to yourself, to ease your worries and working on yourself, not me that’s writing and recently…knitting! I definitely recommend it- I’m not the best knitter but it’s very relaxing. Admit to yourself you’re having a bad day. We all have them.

2. Get to know other online chat avenues- Zoom is not the only outlet out there. Yes, it maybe it’s the most efficient but also take time away from it to, there is Microsoft teams, Skype, A website called Lark which not only calendars your events but also taking calls. There are plenty of avenues to try to navigate and feel more comfortable in this new way of talking. Additionally, this can apply talking to your friends, this doesn’t have to be over zoom either! There are plenty of ways to reach out, whether be over the internet through discord which is perfect for voice chats in big groups or even writing a letter or going on a walk, a nice way to break your day away from a screen  and stress and reach out to the people you love.

3. Think about what you’re grateful for. Over Lockdown, I feel I’ve reflected on I am lucky to have people around me who care about me so much and have been making steps to learn to appreciate things in life more . So tonight, I will be thankful I’m able to make a pancake and enjoy it with my family, in my home where I’m warm, fed and loved and I hope you all can do the same, whether it be with friends, family, pets or even having some alone time. Remember you can do this; you’ve survived this long and it’ll get more comfortable.

Love Em x

Em’s tip: If there are any societies or groups whether you be in university or just online in general. Don’t be afraid to get involved, it’s a great way to meet new people and have fun things to do online. For example, in my drama society at my university, we just did a online combat class- How cool is that!

A picture of my Knitting! I know it’s got some holes but a rainbow is a rainbow none the less.