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Girl on Lockdown: Weeks 5-6

Sixth Form student Mahreen gives us an insight into her experiences during the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown

I am hungry.

It is currently 14:46 on a Friday and I am starving. Why? Because, for Muslims around the world and myself, it’s Ramadan. Now, usually, this time of the year I am just fine. In fact, I love fasting and not having my mum nag me about skipping breakfast.  Yet, this year it’s different - just like every other aspect of my life. I had completely underestimated how crucial school was for me during this time. It would keep me occupied and completely oblivious of the fact that my stomach was empty. But, being at home and being able to smell my dinner makes me distracted, irritable and a slave to time; I keep counting down the hours till I can finally eat. The problem also lies with the fact that the days keep getting longer; I’m not complaining entirely though. Have you ever stayed awake till sunrise and really listened to the birds sing? No? I don’t blame you. Nevertheless, it’s beautiful and mesmerising and the pinkish-orange glow that emanates through the windows and lights up the house is incredibly stunning. I don’t think anything quite measures to the beauty of a sunrise. So, it’s not all bad.

Another change is being back on a timetable- well, not strictly. My school hours have shifted up slightly. The ‘school’ day begins at 11:00 and ends at 17:00, with the breaks and ‘lunch’ break in between. This is due to the late nights that come with fasting. Also, another radical change to my day- to-day life is the absence of music. During Ramadan, it is advised to not listen to music and so that’s what I do every year; It always proves to be a challenge, but I get over it in the first few days, this year being no exception. With regards to my education, things are going smoothly; a lot of my attention lately has been given to my English NEA. No complaints there, since it’s genuinely interesting and entertaining (and no; I do not believe that my definition of ‘entertaining’ has changed during lockdown).

Recently, I’ve also had the time and motivation to catch up with those I haven’t spoken to in a while; I’m getting the impression that from 3:30 onwards, many people are cosying up in their beds with heaps of snacks, watching shows and movies. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen with me until approximately 18:00; even then, the snacks are non-existent. Lately, however, substituting the shows that keep piling on my to-watch list, are a list of reading material on Law that also keeps accumulating. Once you’re doing research on reading material, it’s difficult to pull out; one thing leads to another and then another and suddenly you’re left with more than you primarily intended. But that’s the beauty of learning (she says after vowing to never touch another maths exercise book).

Ultimately, the major life-style change has successfully imposed itself as a new normal and I have adjusted quite well. I am definitely beginning to miss school, but this is an interesting experience; under terrible circumstances, unfortunately, but it’s worth making the most of this time.

I hope you have all grown accustomed to the changes in your own lives and are all healthy and safe.