"It is far, far too early to be talking of Christmas!"

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst has been writing for us about pandemic life since lockdown began back in March.

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

The pandemic robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. But she ended up with three As and is now studying journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Here is her latest contribution.

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"It is far, far too early to be talking of Christmas. With November only just on the horizon, this year as much as any there is unfortunately no possibility of me getting in the festive spirit anytime soon, as much as I love the season. Yet while the dulcet tones of Mariah Carey and Wham! may not be the soundtrack of my October, for university students the December break is something very much at the forefront of our minds. Christmas as we know it will certainly not be the case this year for any of us. But the prospect of not being able to spend that time with my family is something I do not even wish to consider.

"‘Uncertainty’ has very much been the buzz word of 2020 with society unsure on how to react to the pandemic currently, let alone in the coming months. It is a challenge to believe and conform to anything we are told for fear that the following day or week the regulations will be altered. Just weeks ago, we were promised by the government that university students living in the United Kingdom will be permitted to return home for the Christmas holidays, yet there is one phrase that keeps coming to mind. “U-turn.” Of course in such a unique and unprecedented situation as this, politicians cannot be expected to make the correct decision the first and every time. However, I struggle to judge the credibility of many of the statements released in anticipation that I will wrongfully get my hopes up. Many international students in particular are fearful for this December period and whether they will spend the festive season in even the same country as their loved ones.

"The safety of the public should unquestionably be the main priority of the government, and there is much debate as to whether they have fulfilled their duty to protect not only key workers and the elderly but the entire nation. The idea of bringing home the virus to my family is a notion that I wish to avoid at all costs and if it became clear that staying in halls over the break would be the safest and most considerate route I would of course concur.

"Eastbourne has not been identified as a high-risk area having been placed in tier one, and so if university students were elected in terms of location, I imagine that I personally would not be in hot water. It seems unfair that a decision we made over a year ago now is the causation of our university experience but there was no way of determining this and equally nobody to blame. Sacrifices have been made by everybody in recent times, but the idea of eating Pot Noodle rather than my mum’s roast on the 25th of December is not something I would like to become a reality!