Jenny Bathurst - "I sat there in silence and horror"

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst chronicled Covid week by week. Now she returns to share thoughts, fears and hopes.

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

Jenny is studying journalism at the University of Brighton.

"The purpose of this column is to document an unfiltered, raw and honest account of how it feels growing up in the 21st century. It’s an interesting task, and a rather broad topic. You would think that there would be a plethora of topics to choose from, and that each week I sit here with ideas spilling out of my mind, desperate to be able to write more than the 400-500 words I generally allow. However, some weeks I sit here and stare at my laptop and just wonder. In this varied and unpredictable world that we live in, how am I supposed to narrow life down to just an article? My mind is so often a jumble of heart-breaking news stories, personal life worries and the experiences of those around me that it’s sometimes a struggle just to sit here and write something humorous or mock the mundane.

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"Yesterday I sat in stunned silence watching the news of the school shooting in Uvalde. Nineteen students and two teachers lost their lives to an 18-year-old gunman in a Texan elementary school. Although for many it is devastatingly just another reoccurrence of a horrific attack that has happened an appalling number of times, it was personally the first time I had ever sat down and really listened. Listened to the statistics. Listened to a detailed description of what had happened and when. Listened to the victims’ families and those who had witnessed the attacks. As a trainee journalist I thought I had become slightly desensitised to tragic news stories but I sat there in silence and horror, picking at the dinner on my plate and not even being able to imagine the fear and terror that anybody involved in that situation must have felt.

"As a 20-year-old girl in a tiny village in England I feel completely helpless. It makes me wonder if this will be just another story that continues to reappear on the television screen in front of me. Will I eventually have to come to terms with this being a horrific part of the narrative that I can do nothing about?

"I often try and end my columns with a solution or a positive to whatever I’ve been speaking about, but quite frankly I cannot seem to find any, apart from praying and hoping that whoever has the power to make these events stop, makes them stop. There is no doubt that hearing of these heart-breaking stories is just as devastating for the elderly, but growing up in a world in which this kind of malice has been allowed to happen certainly doesn’t improve hope in the future of the society we live in."

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