• Morgan @ Neon Caffeine

Diary of a student: life in lockdown



At the beginning of lockdown two we set Morgan in our team the task of documenting his experience. In his own words, here's his experience of lockdown two as a final year student.

In this blog, I am going to discuss what occurred during my second lockdown. Addressing fitness, focus and food. Now the second lockdown has finished and our lives have now been placed into tiers for some lucky people, the restrictions have been lifted or the restriction still remains as tight.


One thing is for certain that during the lockdown meant no more restaurant dinners with friends, no more in-person pub quizzes and no more group activities. This was a frustration to all the people around me and I imagine for the whole population! However, everyone understands in order to protect the vulnerable members of society the circuit breaker was necessary to stem the spread of this virus.


Over this lockdown, I wanted to come out the other side having archived some tiny personal accomplishments.


Staying prepared


Firstly, I used the tips from our previous article: ‘Remaining Productive in a virtual world’, which is a three tip article to achieve high productivity. The most crucial component for keeping sane and on track is to time table my work. I kept a schedule that blocked out sections of my day so I can stay on track with my up and coming task. I sat down on Sunday night to lay out a rough schedule for the week, it is flexible meaning that I was not bound to the calendar once it was made. Therefore I am able to tweak the work to suit my working day if my lectures run over or coursework takes longer than it should.


Overall this method was very effective for ensuring that nothing in my day was missed and that I didn't slip into a state where days blended into one.


The average working day


Learning something new


When the news broke about a second lockdown I decided to set myself some targets to achieve during the month. I joined a book club. This is an online group called ‘The Rebel Book Club’ where each month a group of 600 people vote from a choice of three books on a specific theme.


This month the club is focusing on cybercrime in the digital world. The chosen book (thankfully my chosen book) is called ‘Mindf*ck’ by Christopher Wylie. The book is an account from an insider at Cambridge Analytica who recounts, in detail, the work on the Brexit campaign and the Trump campaign which shook the world. I am currently on the final chapter and I'm shocked how secretive and influential technology companies have become at influencing the masses.


Cookery Journey


I also embarked on the journey of becoming a better cook. Being at university the budget for food is tight and after nights at the pub with friends, the go-to meal is typically pizza for a quick and filling meal. However, pizza is not the healthiest meal to live on. This is why I chose three meals to perfect over the lockdown period. The first meal was breakfast and I wanted to create the perfect omelette, nutritional and would not break the bank. The next two meals were Spanish risotto and Thai green chicken curry. The two meals were hearty but took time to make, the two dishes are my favourite but are out of my comfort zone. Over the lockdown, I managed to successfully cook all three meals after multiple attempts, the omelette being the hardest... I'm very particular.


Here are the BBC food links I used for my attempt at becoming a better cook:


The perfect omelette: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/theperfectomelette_86680


The Super Spanish Risotto: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bakedspanishrisotto_70241


Out of this world Thai Green curry: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/thaigreencurry_67788


Meditation


Finally, I have started to meditate. I believe that taking time out of your day no matter how brief to stop and think is important. Sometimes when staying in the house all day it can become restrictive and overwhelming. Taking the time to rest and reset my thoughts really helps me calm down and focus on myself.


I decided to download the Headspace app which is a meditation companion app that offers a variety of exercises to; wind down, clear the mind and relax. The best part about this app is that it teaches you how to meditate, being a complete beginner this is the most helpful aspect. My mind tends to wander all over the place during the day, especially after my second coffee of the day!


Overall this second lockdown has become easier to cope with when compared to the initial lockdown period. By setting some fun objectives it has meant that my days are filled with fun goals to archive that translate to learnt skills. However, my omelette still needs work...

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