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My Lockdown Experience, as a Student

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The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly entered our lives and put everything to a halt. It affected the lives of people around the world bringing a flood of tension and worries followed by negative thoughts and piles of boredom. But I took it as a challenge to handle this situation with determination and positivity thereby taking advantage of the lockdown. My parents motivated me to make use of it as it is a very big opportunity.

When it was first announced that we will be going on a total lockdown, I was laughing and couldn’t believe my country leaders will adhere and stick strict to it.

My experience during the lockdown, as a student is filled with ups and downs, as you would imagine. Being confined to our homes with no social interactions with fellow humans is tough and goes against our human nature. The pandemic brought alot to a halt, but I have been lucky enough to have a family that continues to support me during these uncertain time, who are always allowing me the time and space I’ve needed over these past months to be busy independently.

As a Young Student, I have had to spend most of my days outdoors than indoors and I have truly come to appreciate the serenity of the environment.

My area had initially been unusually quiet and you could count the number of people on the road. Those seen were either just sitting out to get fresh air, or to survey the environment.

I would never had believed that ever busy Lagos State could be so calm, no cars, no buses, no noise, the so called “Agbero” too, just nobody on the streets. Those working had to go with food to the office because there were nowhere to buy from. Although this level of serenity was not long-lasting, as people gradually started moving out majorly in search of money/hunger and to conquer boredom.

For me the season has been used to take up some routines like praying, exercising and practicing how to design on my system. It has also been an amazing time to bond with family and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I have also been trying out some Graphics Design courses online. This Corona Virus period has also been a time for me to slow down and think of where I am, where I have been, where I would love to be and how to get there. It has been a time of truth-telling and decision making.

The novelty of being at home wore off and I started to struggle. I suffered from regular panic attacks, frozen on the floor in our living room, unable to play or go out. I had nightmares most nights, and struggled to sleep. It was as if I was stuck, trapped in our house and in my own head. So I didn’t know how to cope.

However, over time, I found ways to deal with the pressure. I realized that lockdown gave me more time to the things I loved, hobbies that had been previously swamped by learning and office works. I started different exercises, drawing and playing football again, and felt free for the first time in months. I had forgotten how good it felt to be creative. I started spending more time with my family. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed my parents due to office works.

My knowledge and experience in exercise and health allowed me to continue keeping my health and well-being intact. Having trained by a Taekwondo training I attend in a neighborhood not far from home some years back made me know more about home-based exercises gave me the confidence and incentive to implement my own home routine while juggling my studies.

However, keeping my mind actively engaged with sometimes 50+ repetition push-ups, sit-ups, knuckle pushups and squatting exercises was not an easy task. Exercise has primarily been my lifeline through these times, keeping boredom and my belly size at bay. But don’t get me wrong, I am not a belly sized boy (LOL) and I’ve had my binge eating and movie marathon days like most through these unprecedented times.

Overall, I have found lockdown a lot better than I thought it was going to be because I managed to keep connected with all my families. Most importantly, I developed my graphics skills well which will always come in handy!

Whenever I wake up in the morning, I go and find something to keep busy with as my step mom will prepare our meal, then start asking my siblings what they need to do for their studies. In our house I am the second-born and I am the oldest one of those who attend to my siblings in their home Drills and lots’ concerning school, so I take all the responsibility to make sure everyone is doing well with studies.

When I get tired, I watch the news, more on Coronavirus. I found out Lagos State has the most people with Coronavirus in Nigeria and that makes me pay more attention to this issue.

During all of these study at home weeks I am very busy, helping my siblings, making sure they are done with their work I allocated to them all. But also I like it because I am learning new things from them while we are studying together. These are the people who I spend my time with, my parents and my siblings. It is fun to stay with my family members anyways. Sometimes my dad tell us to come to the living room and he mostly Teach us with the knowledge of Qur’an (Memorizing and Understanding it) [Tahfeez] Everyone is very excited at home, but sometimes my siblings do have little fights over who will handle the remote control to the TV sets as it has been a while everyone of us do that.

My stepmom is a talkative person anyways, she is very funny and she likes to tell stories about her lifetime before marriage. When I am busy on my phone, laptop or watching the TV, my stepmom brings something to talk about or something that will be a little challenge and everyone will focus on the challenge. For all of these things we have been doing it has been very good but during this hard time of COVID19 it is not very enjoyable. Sometimes we want to go somewhere to see something or to buy things in the market or to just enjoy ourselves. But we are scared of the so called COVID19.

Along the road, there is a Beer Parlour where mostly everyone in the neighborhood will mostly visit to enjoy themselves. Normally on Sundays people filled the entire road coming back from the Beer Parlour. And the policemen should be here making the rules and directing the traffic. Actually, it is a big change to experience quiet in a city like this. To be honest I never stayed at home this much. I’m always out doing something but now I’m most in my room and the living room with my family. I’m not always home so I never really spend a lot of time with my family but during the #stayhomestaysafe period It gave me a chance to really set down with my family and we have over time reconnected.

On Sunday Morning when they play games in the neighborhood Government School Field, you should see people around the building selling some snacks or drinks. Now it looks like people have moved away and nothing is being done. Sometimes I ask myself, where are all the cars that were passing around every day?

People got separated and no one visits others. People really change even friends because they are just protecting their lives. One thing I noticed is that people don’t blame or get mad at each other because they didn’t greet them. My family has friends who used to come every Sunday to visit us. But during this time they didn’t come for like three weeks. When they came they just stood outside and called us. We didn’t touch each other, we just talked but staying very far. After that everyone just felt okay. Even if I met with other people who I know it is the same thing I’ll do with them. But usually when you meet or visit someone without shaking hands or giving hugs, everyone will be ashamed of each other or feel bad.

We sometime impose the COVID19 to ourselves in our home so as to make jest of ourselves, most times I will just stay indoor whenever I feel I am not strong while I’ll be thinking I have contacted the virus, I will start to check my body temperature and control my coughs in the house for my sibling not to run away from me.

Me and my brother will go in to the hot small field where we play soccer sometimes. Usually there are a lot of kids playing different here games but ever since the government ordered people to stay home I haven’t seen any kids in this little field playing. They are all inside their homes and don’t wanna come outside. This place during normal days is very noisy with boys playing soccer and some just running around, but nowadays the place is very quiet. Nobody is outside playing anymore and it looks like there never was anybody at this place.

Some markets in our area are closed and don’t have any online services. I feel sorry for them because they are losing money and maybe in some cases they had to fire some of their workers. I think the outbreak is not only damaging people’s health but also people’s finances because many are not used to this work at home situation. Also some of the jobs don’t even have the option of working at home, so they just fire people because now the stores are closed and the businesses really do not need their help any more so they fire them.

But I think this break is not all a bad thing. I think it has given chances for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company. So I think people should take this time and enjoy each other because families are all we have got when things like this happen.

The lockdown has affected my life quite disturbingly. My first priority was me gaining admission into the University which I’ve done the JAMB Examination and I am waiting for admission, which I can’t wait to gain admission, more so my Desktop Publishing Learning Centre where I am expected to do my Graduation and obtain the Desktop Publishing Certificate scheduled in March got postponed. I desperately wanted to barge in for my Graphics designing class which I can’t wait for but everything just got delayed. I was really looking forward to more success stories in 2020. But the lockdown turned down everything and I was actually sad as I am enjoying virtual classes.

On the other hand, I also had the best experience of my life by participating in online classes, wherein I also got to clarify my doubts. I learned a new way to give some exams online but also I miss talking to and playing with my friends and colleagues at the office. My birthday falls in July so I was planning to have a huge celebration at house and enjoy a long holiday before I got admitted to the University Institution. But who knew that this would not become a reality due to COVID-19. My brother has assured me of a grand party after the pandemic situation gets over.

I often miss visiting different Offices which my boss used to send me to at work and other such places. I learnt to maintain proper cleaning and hygiene and also urged everyone to follow the same. In this situation I, along with my family, tried our best to follow the guidelines issued by the government thus taking full precautionary measures.

The best outcome of this situation has been that the virus has made us aware of valuing food, water, fruits and other essential items along with benefits of yoga and exercises followed by intake of herbs and healthy food. It has also taught us the importance of spending times with one’s family and exploring ourselves. I am happy to get some more time to follow my hobby of doing exercises, studying and to learn new things like Photoshop, CorelDraw and other online platforms for Graphics Design. I pray to God that soon the day comes when we get the news that there are no more any CORONAVIRUS cases in the world.

I didn’t know I could survive the Lockdown without most of my friends, I pray Almighty Allah will continue to guide everyone and every cranny of my friends with lots of Knowledge and Understandings, You’re the real MVP’s Guys. And to my Parents Alhaji & Mrs. Abdulwahid Mustapha, may God continue to shower lots of mercy and Graces to you, may He always continue to strengthen and give you long lasting lifetime on earth.

I have always keep a positive head, always looking towards the current challenge of lockdown as an adaptive learning experience that we’re all faced with. As I developed a Motto in my Lockdown era which goes “always live to learn, to try and fail, but most of all, keep it real”.

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