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.
"I have spent the majority of this week marvelling over whether this pandemic has been the fastest or slowest few months of my life. When looking at the bigger picture we have currently spent one quarter of our year in quarantine.
"As an eighteen year old that seems like a particularly lengthy period of time, and I suppose it has felt that way too: the progress I have made with my running, all the books I have read and the hours I have spent lounging in the garden. Yet when I think of this, I struggle to see how it is now mid-June - where has all that time gone? It feels like just a couple of weeks ago that we could walk freely in and out of restaurants and I was booking theatre tickets, anticipating an eventful summer that for obvious reasons will no longer be spent the way I thought it might. Whether this has felt like a blink of an eye or a prolonged and exhausting stretch, I can certainly see subtle changes in myself, or at least the impact that this new routine has had on my mentality.
"I have never had the opportunity to read so much, tick so many movies off my to-watch list and just take the chance to stop and slow everything down. I remember speaking to my youth pastor Katie back in January about how I was feeling a bit restless in my routine, as if my week was beginning to echo itself repeatedly – careful what you wish for! I spoke in last week’s article how I had come to the realisation that the ‘new normal’ that I had been expecting for so long will in fact be entirely abnormal to me, but that isn’t necessarily a negative.
"This also has caused me to reflect on what parts of this bizarre experience may continue to benefit me post lockdown. Of course the amount of spare time I may have compared to now will be significantly reduced, but surely in this period where we have been given space to let our hobbies and interests expand it would feel silly to abandon them, especially given the benefits that some of them have had on my health and wellbeing.
"Personally I know that even the smallest changes such as laying in for an hour or so whilst still being ready for the day at an appropriate time has left me feeling far more energised and made a welcome change to the 6:30am starts in preparation for college every morning.
"Running has created a noticeable change in me, from my physical appearance to the endorphins and feeling of satisfaction after beating a personal record. And the Black Lives Matter movement, although not a hobby, has given me a needed and fresh perspective on an issue that I had never fully understood the significance of previously.
"All of these factors I will willingly carry into my life when this pandemic finally comes to a halt, working as best as I can with the time that I will be presented with. It will certainly be a challenge to navigate through the period when everything begins to return to normality, but the gradual transformation into life after lockdown will be made all the more straightforward when I continue to invest my time in the things that have made the past three bizarre months the most bearable.
A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
Stay safe, and best wishes.