32319: Life after finals in lockdown
This term was a strange term for us all; online lectures and tutorials quickly became the norm, and life in a global pandemic restricted our ability to make real human connections and see friends and family. Taking finals in this new environment was certainly a challenge, but looking back, I realise that — rather ironically — the stress of exams and studying kept me grounded, distracting me from the chaos and uncertainty of the world around me.
People often talk about the experience of an online Trinity or exams in lockdown, but perhaps less thought is given to the experience of what comes next. It's a strange feeling. Now that the distraction of finals is gone, I'm faced with not only the odd sense of realisation that I have completed a whole degree, but also the reality that we are still in lockdown and many of those limitations that I previously hadn't fully processed are very much still there. The stark contrast between the liberation from my degree and the constraints of lockdown is something I'm still trying to come to terms with, but over the past few weeks since finishing finals, I've been really trying to focus on myself and my own wellbeing, catching up on sleep, pursuing old hobbies and finding new ones (shoutout to Animal Crossing New Horizons). My degree didn't quite get the end that I had hoped for, and maybe it was slightly anticlimactic to submit my final exam only to go back to lockdown, but after four hectic years, I'm finally able to step back and recharge, with the benefit of now being in an environment of tranquility as shops remain closed and the bustle of city-life is temporarily paused. Perhaps spending life after finals in lockdown isn't so bad after all.