By Éanna Johnston
Eat, work, sleep. This seems to be an all too familiar routine for most of us these days. To say cynicism has taken over our lives is an understatement. Headlines are filled with high case numbers, rumours of lockdown extensions, and tragic stories of the lives that have been impacted by this virus. Right now, this is the last thing we want to hear about in our day to day lives. I think it’s important we highlight the good that people have done during this troubled time for a change. From the small things we do for our neighbours, to efforts being done to help us all collectively.
Connecting with people has been pivotal in killing the monotony of our day-to-day routine as well as helping us at our lowest points. We’ve all relied on the support of friends and family to get us through this strenuous time. I know I’ve lit up at the sight of a Snapchat message or Twitter DM from friends whenever I’m having a particularly rough day. It’s important now more than ever that we remain in contact with those we care about most. Whether it be a simple text to a friend, or sending something in the post for them, it’s the small things that can brighten up our day.
Simple group chats on Twitter have brought people with similar interests together, as well as created some brand-new circles of friends that may not have met otherwise. For me, I’ve found a close group of friends where I’m able to vent my frustration, share my worries, or even just send a meme I found. We’re already planning on what we’ll do after this, and it gives us a much-needed feeling of hope.
The Students’ Union has been monumental in bringing us all together. From the weekly Hump Day Hoolies that bring together people from every corner of the University to have a laugh, to dozens of online workshops that can help us better ourselves. Their promotion of the 50808 line to help struggling students find comfort has been crucial to those who find themselves in a dark place with no one to turn to. With everyone having too much free time on their hands, the recent Hair Raiser charity campaign has taken advantage of this to do something good for those less fortunate than us. The Cara Connect programme has given isolated students a chance to have someone to talk to day to day. Personally, I’ve met some amazing people from these events that I’m proud to call friends.
This is perhaps the darkest moment that many of us will experience in our life. However, it still amazes me a year on, the power that we have as a group to find the light in this darkness. We should be proud of the individual and collective effort we have made during the past year. Writing this article has given me optimism for the future ahead, and I hope you walk away feeling the same way. Some positivity is needed for a change.