'A sense of purpose': How lockdown reshaped Daniel's perspective

Daniel Pfister, BA (Hons) Global Management (Accounting) student and Student Union Treasurer, writes about how he's dealing with lockdown, in the hope it will help others.

This article is part of our new series, Regent's Review: thoughts, research and academic discussion on the rapidly unfolding pandemic.

In the spirit of being there for one another in these troubling times, I wanted to share how I have been dealing with everything in the hope that it might prove helpful to some of you.

Being in my final year means that I currently have seven outstanding assessments on my mind, so I can relate to how sometimes revision can become very dull and unmotivating. What has helped me is to try and get at least three or four hours of active work done most days.

As unoriginal as it sounds, forcing myself to sit down and start getting work done, even when it wasn’t due for a couple of weeks, reinstated a sense of purpose in my life.

My routine begins with getting out of bed after snoozing the alarm a couple of times, enjoying a comfortable breakfast with the TV on in the background and while waiting for that morning coffee to kick in before I head to my workstation.

Getting the main portion of work done early on means it’s out of the way and by the time you’ve had lunch there won’t be that much left to do. I always choose to work on one assessment per day. That way I can really focus on making some headway, and I see results with every study sesh.

The reason I chose to bring up studying first is because having previously spent a couple of weeks gaming, watching everything on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and killing time on my phone. This all left me feeling quite empty.

But it doesn’t just have to be just studying. I think you can achieve the same effect by progressing any activity or skill you’ve had before – or start something afresh! It’s the perfect time to revisit forgotten talents, rekindle lost friendships and focus on self-development.

I used to really love drawing. Visual arts was one of my main subjects in high school, but I haven’t really drawn or painted anything for ages – until now. Okay, I still haven’t found the time, but that’s because of my seven assessments (and I’d rather spend those remaining hours of free time with my friends online).

It really does help to find new ways to spend time with your friends and family, especially for those of us who are living alone. If I find myself aimlessly drifting through my apartment, avoiding studying or cleaning up my cooking mess, I remember I can call friends I haven’t caught up with in ages. Normally we would be so focused on our daily routines, that now you can really use this opportunity to give that mate a call and catch up.

If you own a computer or a console, check which of your friends have the same games as you. I’m sure you could even find a way to show off the leadership and teamwork skills you gain playing Fortnite on your CV…!

Being there for one another is really important – but equally important is being there for yourself. I think if anything I have also learned that you can trust yourself more than you give yourself credit for. This pandemic has impacted all of our lives and we have had to face challenges that we could not have foreseen. Nonetheless, we improvise, adapt and overcome and at the end I think we are going to be proud of how each of us has grown into a stronger and more resilient version of ourselves.

This article was originally published by Regent's Student Union.