8 May 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

CHLOE SCOTT (6th Year student – St. Louis, Monaghan)

Thursday, March 12th will be a day forever etched into the minds of the Leaving Cert class of 2020. This was the day the dreaded Coronavirus put our lives on hold. The uncertainty of when we would be able to see our friends and our teachers again loomed large. We were in a state of total shock! We joked, “See you Monday!” This has now turned into, “See you at the end of July!” As students we are incredibly grateful to our teachers, who have been thrown into the deep end with online teaching and remote learning. Their support has been superb. This has been a whole new experience for all of us. Not only have our studies been interrupted, but our whole lives too. We are worried about our Mental Health and Wellbeing.

We are worried about the health risks associated with sitting in exam halls doing our Leaving Cert. We are worried about contracting Covid-19 and passing it on to someone whose health is already compromised. We are all asking so many questions and there doesn’t seem to be many answers. The rituals associated with the conclusion of our second level education have also been taken away from us – our Graduation, our Debs and even our post Leaving Cert holiday! This is so surreal and mind-boggling! However, we are reminded that “Apart, we are together”. And soon we will be able to resume our lives, making new memories, in a post Coronavirus world.

If I have learned anything from this pandemic, it is truly to be grateful for all the small, simple things in life. Before Covid-19 I used to have to heat up my dinner after Evening Study and it was invariably cold, when I ate it, alone, at the Kitchen table. Whereas now, I have the opportunity to sit and eat dinner with my family. We have even had arguments over Monopoly and Cluedo! We are all hugging our families a little tighter now. Right now, I am taking everything one day at a time. Studying at home can be extremely overwhelming.

However, I am taking time to connect with others, to be active, trying new recipes and I am really enjoying spending time with my family. I am focusing on what I can control. I am taking regular breaks from studying and I am trying not to be too hard on myself. I am reaching out to everyone I love and I am really enjoying the many laughs to be had over Facetime and phone calls with my grandparents. I’ve been reminding the people I care about how much I value them. So far several have responded by telling me how much they needed to hear it. As the Irish proverb says, “Ní neart go cur le chéile” (There is no strength without unity). We need to remind ourselves that we will make it through this, even if we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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