Life in Lockdown: "I have spent so many moments asking what if"

Sussex Student Jenny Bathurst is hoping to study journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Life in Lockdown
Life in Lockdown

The coronavirus crisis has robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.

"Hindsight. Perhaps one of the most valuable yet frustrating abilities that we are capable of as human beings. The power to disparage our past actions with full knowledge of the situation and the outcome seems so counterproductive, however we still manage to blame ourselves for decisions that appeared to be the best possible choice at the time. I am certainly guilty of this, where I seem to often struggle with setting targets and making difficult decisions in the fear that I will later go on to realise that the alternative option would have resulted in a more beneficial outcome.

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"This pandemic has presented me with multiple instances where hindsight has been painstakingly irritating. All the times I declined sunny trips to the beach in order to stay home and revise for exams seems like an utter waste, where reflecting now I wish I had discarded the textbooks and relished the rarity of British heat. I regret all the opportunities that I had In the weeks running up to lockdown to eat out and shop, and that I didn’t take because I fancied a day lounging around at home, something I have spent the entirety of the past two to three months doing with little choice to partake in much else. It is almost as if I am angry at myself for not being able to predict a global pandemic, cancelling arguably the most important exams I would have ever taken and turning life completely on its head – which I know, is ridiculous.

"I have spent so many moments asking “what if”, particularly in this season where I would have been sitting my A Levels. I find it so bizarre to be lounging in the sun in my garden realising at that very moment I would be writing a paper on Keats or the development of child language. The fact I do not have to experience the undoubted stress certainly fills me with relief, but also, as it does for most students at this time, makes me wonder if my grades will reflect the full potential that I could have portrayed in sitting those exams. I look forward to telling people that I definitely *could* have got an A* had I taken the papers, when in reality the prospect of achieving even an A would be highly unexpected!

"The reality of the situation seems to be this. There was no way we could have predicted what has taken place, and there is very little insight into what may occur in the near future. I could not have prepared for this, and as much as, in hindsight, I wish I had done things differently and utilised my time otherwise, it would be cruel to myself to regret any of it. If anything it has taught me to take nothing for granted, where basic parts of my life have been stripped away that I would never have imagined having to be without. As I write this it has just now been announced that restrictions have eased slightly yet again. This will, at one point, be a memory, but until then laying down any doubt or regrets surrounding ‘hindsight’ is personally the healthiest option. There is no way of foreseeing what lies ahead and accepting that is crucial.


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