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By Billy O’Connor

In the weeks and months preceding the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, social engagements and activities have never been more in vogue. For many, this transition at such a warped speed has been difficult to adjust to. There is a myriad of reasons as to why this transition has been very bittersweet for people including the increasing number of cases as these activities become larger and more accessible, the possible lack of a social circle to enjoy this newfound freedom with; but I have noticed, personally, that my main inhibition surrounding the easing of restrictions is the pressure of having to consistently ‘make the most’ of every waking moment of your free time. 

It seems the fear doesn’t necessarily stem from the jealousy of others having a good time while you aren’t, but more from the pressure exerted onto us that these are our ‘golden years’ and it is intrinsic to our growth and maturation as human beings to have as many experiences and meet as many new people as possible. In a way, we are forced to make up for lost time due to one of these years being relatively null and void due to the heightening of the pandemic. However, I don’t believe that time spent alone is necessarily time wasted. I look back on the first lockdown with real heartfelt nostalgia, like many people I have spoken to have, due to the sheer simplicity of every minute thing. 

While the abrupt pace change of general life was definitely daunting and a major adjustment for most, if not all, of us; overtime it was a major sense of comfort for many to be able to resort back to hobbies and everyday tasks that once made their life meaningful but had gotten lost in the turbulence and ferocity of the working world. For many, the ability to take solace in the simple things again like going for a walk or seeing one or two friends after a period of major isolation was uncharacteristically gratifying as these tasks had once seemed so menial and obsolete. I think the main point of contention among myself and many of my peers is the newfound sense of pressure to be consistently and mercilessly occupied at every waking moment in order to wade off the impending waste of our youth. 

However, it is important for us to regain perspective in these times of hysteria and remind ourselves of how much of our youth we truly have left, and to be kind to ourselves by taking satisfaction in the little things we once relished in, no matter how insignificant they may seem. 

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