My seventeenth birthday was in lockdown, and it was possibly one of the most boring birthdays of my life. Normally I'd see my mates on the Friday night and then my Nan and cousins and aunts and uncles would come at the weekend.
This year I knew that wasn’t possible but fortunately was still able to have a takeaway. It was very late by the time we ate though, because that was the day it became clear that schools and offices were closing and we needed to set Dad, Em and Mum all offices up to work from home. So I spent my birthday evening as a technician helping to make that happen.
I'm slightly envious that my mates with birthdays before lockdown had driving lessons and a cheeky Nando’s - that wasn't to be for me. My L plates and car air freshener gathered dust amongst my online studies until this week. Covid-19 really has put a foot on the brake for all the positives that come from turning seventeen. Especially not being able to learn to drive...
All of us young people will be in the same shoes. However, we must try and look for the positives that even we have gained from this year. For many of us, not seeing peers in school and out made it hard to socialise, but we found other ways to still talk and pass the time - by playing a lot of PS4 (thank you, Modern Warfare, Warzone and Black Ops 4) and loads of FaceTime.
I've learned that spontaneity and freedom should be valued - something I didn’t consider before Covid. So next year I will plan and celebrate with my girlfriend, my mates and all of my extended family and make up for the things that I've missed out on this year.
Thank you so much Jack - and here's hoping your 18th goes very differently!
Louise & Anna x