Lessons In Lockdown

Digital Journalism
The last 15 weeks have impacted on college life like never before. Now, as we approach the end of the academic year, some of our digital journalists reflect on their lockdown experiences, their frustrations with the ‘media’ industry, and their hopes for a brighter future.


How has the pandemic made you feel about the News media?

The pandemic overall has made me feel questionable towards the media. As I and many others knew that the media were hiding specific facts about the effect that coronavirus had at the beginning of the pandemic. We were never told about the recovery rates either as part of the coronavirus during the beginning of the outbreak. If anything it has made me even more sceptical about the media. As I know they hide things from the public occasionally in other news topics, I can’t help but believe that the rates of the coronavirus infections becoming recovered were hidden for the public to keep us dedicated to stay in lockdown and social distance. Of course I know myself and many other people would abide by those rules but others wouldn’t necessarily care as much if they didn’t know the ‘effects’ it truly had. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

In all honesty, this pandemic has not changed my views on the media and I still propose the same thoughts. From what I’ve seen, the media never gives the full story. They only publish what’s hot and what they know is going to bring in views, even if it’s not 100% accurate. They often leave out important information that could change people’s opinions on the topic entirely. For example, during this pandemic, the press and media have been telling everyone what Boris could’ve done during this hard time but not appreciating all the success that has occurred. For example, “During the past month, records for clean energy have been broken repeatedly and low electricity demand has led to an unprecedented level of use of renewable power in the UK” (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

Overall, the pandemic has given me a rather negative outlook upon the media; however, I do understand as to why they do what they do. In order to generate more views on their stories, they use various techniques such as clickbait, provoking images and often misguiding headings. Through this, fear is spread amongst the public, and I believe it’s resulted in the drastic aspects of the pandemic – such as, the heavy and excessive stocking on items in supermarkets. In short, I’ve seen that the media often focuses on the downsides, stirring the fright factor of the virus. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

The Pandemic has had a significant effect on every aspect of my life. It has made me feel many mixed emotions as far as upset, angry, and confused. The media played a large part in these mixed emotions as they only ever showed the bad facts and figures. They never told the public how many people were recovering from COVID-19 it was only ever how many were passing away. I think it’s also because you read so many different articles online that it’s hard to pick out what is true and what isn’t. It’s easy to believe everything you see on social media but it’s also important that you realize a lot of what you find isn’t factual news and in fact completely incorrect. What I made sure I done throughout lockdown was not listen or read anything online and only rely on getting my information from the government daily update. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

During this tough time the media have had a huge responsibility when it comes to the nation’s morale. The way we are finding out information is usually through the media so therefore they have a huge influence on how we think and view situations. I feel that the media haven’t particularly changed their ways much since the lockdown begun, however because of the lack of national public activity during the lockdown, there is not much for the media to report on other than the virus. This has meant that at every opportunity for a scoop, they have taken it with both hands with zero hesitation. One example of this was when Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules. He broke the rules one of two ways, he either; travelled 260 miles with his family while having Covid-19 symptoms which is against the rules of; if you have symptoms stay at home for 7 days and the rest of the household should stay at home for a fortnight. He later claimed that neither him or his wife had symptoms which means that he was travelling unnecessarily in the first place which still leaves him in a precarious position as to whether he has completely undermined the rules that he helped set for the millions across the nation. The issue I have with this is that he is now sending the message; ‘do as I say and not as I do’ to the people of our struggling nation.

The media were very quick to jump at the chance of reporting on this farce. One man who loves to make his opinions very clear on most topics goes by the name of Piers Morgan. Piers took to national television on Good Moring Britain to call out Cummings for being ‘a liar who broke every rule there was to break’. In this video, both Piers and Susanna highlight the event of Mark Rutte’s (Prime Minister of the Netherlands) mother sadly passing away after catching Covid-19. Mark did not go to see his mother during her final few weeks of life because to do so he would have had to have broken his own governments rules. This showed a tremendous amount of leadership and self-sacrifice because he could have very easily have broken the rules, but he knew that would have been immoral. This self-sacrifice showed his nation that if they had to sacrifice their freedom then he would also do the same. This shows great leadership and shows that it is very much a ‘do as I do’ kind of leadership rather than a ‘do as I say’. Great leaders always lead by setting an example and Cummings has done the complete opposite. (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

Unfortunately, this pandemic has shown the media’s true colours and intentions for me. Across the time we have been in lockdown, I have seen the media twisting and altering the news in hopes that it will force people to become panicked, making them spread fear to others. Many people will gather news from their friends and family, so they may be getting false information based on the articles written by news outlets. An example that I have seen numerous times is the amount of safety equipment and PPE that is in NHS hospitals. This is vital equipment that NHS workers need to stay safe while they are trying to keep other people alive. However, for weeks on end, the media have been reporting that not enough PPE is available and that all hospitals will run out. My uncle works in Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich which is one of the major London hospitals fighting the virus. He works in the data department but often walks round the hospital. He has said that there are hundreds of boxes stacked up in the hallways. It makes you wonder: what are we supposed to believe? My uncle has seen first-hand the situation in a hospital, and it is nowhere near as disastrous as we are made out to believe. I am not saying that all hospitals have piles and piles of equipment that is being neglected by staff as their patients start to recover. I do believe, though, that we are not being provided the whole picture by the press and instead are being fed half-truths to create fear and doubt the leadership of the government. After 10 weeks in lockdown, the news is getting repetitive. It has led to me not watching the news anymore for the foreseeable future because there is nothing new to report. All I hear is “the government haven’t done this” or “is the government failing?”. The government are doing their best; no one is perfect all the time. No government has had to deal with a virus this bad before so of course they are going to make some mistakes. However, there is no need to go after them every day, demanding answers that they simply cannot give yet. Yes, it has been a long time. Yes, we all want to go outside but slamming the government at every opportunity you get it not the answer and will not get us out of lockdown any quicker. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

The pandemic has made me trust the media a lot less than I originally did. The media has been the main source of people getting their hopes up as well as spreading fear around. Given the majority of people use the media in order to stay up to date with everything it can make a serious impact on people when they constantly publish articles about how lockdown should be over by a specific date or on the opposite side of the scale saying how the rise of coronavirus cases can get a lot worse when in reality they probably won’t. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

During this pandemic there has been a lot of media coverage and articles been brought out. Due to all the media that has been posted I have come to realise that media companies will twist anything anyone has said to make an interesting story. I have come to feel as though some media sources are unreliable and do will create stories out of nothing. However, some media sources have done a very good job of getting information out there so people know what is going on and how things have been progressing. (Willow Stening, DJ1)


Can you give us any examples of ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ stories that have come out during lock-down?


The thing I look forward to the most is being able to spend time with my friends and family properly. I have visited my nan in the last few days and we stayed 2m apart but being able to see her in person rather than hearing her voice down the phone is just amazing. It is a small bit or normality that has returned and it is just wonderful to be laugh together and see each other’s emotions. Someone I am really missing is my boyfriend, Arron. He is type 1 diabetic and while he has not received a letter saying that he is a high-risk person, we both agreed that standing on the doorstep seems more punishing then not seeing each other at all. It would be heart-breaking to stand 2m apart from each other and not being able to hug each other. It is the freedom of seeing people whenever I want, how I want that I miss. Not being able to see Arron for 3 months is horrible so I can’t wait to give him a massive hug and tell him I love him. It’s going to be so emotional. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

An example of a positive story that has come out during lockdown was a short video released by the BBC called “One day I will tell you there are no new cases.” For me this had a positive impact on the way I view the pandemic as it gave me hope that I will get to hug my grandparents again and return to my retail job at Bluewater shopping center. On the other hand, any story I see regarding the death toll, makes me so fearful for the vulnerable members of my family and the thought of normality never being restored. We are living in such scary times and to be reading all sorts of stories from different sources is confusing as no one really knows what’s going on in the world right now. 2020 will surely be hard to forget. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

Although there is much negativity surrounding our situation as a society at the moment whether it be about racism, Covid-19, Brexit or anything else, there are still great people achieving great things every day. One great example of this is Marcus Rashford. Marcus has managed to change the government’s decision to stop free school meals to those who are in desperate need by campaigning over the last few weeks.  The Government have extended the free school meals throughout the summer for six weeks which will come to £120 million. In doing so, Marcus has driven change for 1.3 million children across England in allowing them all to still be able to access free school meals by using vouchers that will be given out at the end of the school term. This act of great leadership and courage to stand up to the government for what he thinks is right shows how mature and selfless Marcus really is. This positive act has rightly been shown overwhelmingly positive media coverage which differs to the norm of a footballer because footballers are often negatively publicised.  (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

I have had positives and negatives throughout having to work on my final project for this year. Of course having to do everything remotely is harder than getting the chance to still be at college. But this has taught me a lot about myself. For example my motivation to still carry on and push myself to the best of my ability, to show the passion that I have for my future career in radio and journalism. Also, the positive reactions that I have been receiving from my weekly listeners on my radio show and the feedback and constructive criticism from my tutors. However, of course the negatives have been more mentally for me and finding the balance to work from home and how I’ve had to adapt to certain things so that I can work my hardest. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

One of the negative things that I have seen over the course of the lockdown is the media’s reporting on Boris. For starters, he is one man. A man who has had a job for 5 months and has no rest. He had to make a difficult decision that has led to him being verbally abused by millions who do not agree with him. It is something that should not be happening. When he fell ill with the virus, not many people seemed to care for him. He is trying to run our country, trying to sort out mess that had been created by previous PMs and he does not deserve to have the press after him every second of the day. Everything that have seen on Boris in the past 10 weeks has been criticising his leadership and made it seem like he was not fit to run the country. He deserves to have more respect than what he is currently receiving from the media. I am going to be honest; I have not seen a positive story in the last 10 weeks and it is getting ridiculous. People do not want to hear all the negative things every day, they want to hear when life will go back to normal. Scaremongering people will not solve any problems. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

The Sun is the main source of clickbait titles to do with the pandemic, giving both a lot of articles about the positives and negatives of the pandemic. In these articles they try and boost the hopes of the nation, which no doubt gets their hopes up making them think that whenever something positive is meant to happen the public thinks that they can start going back to normal then. Or in terms of a negative article they make it so that it invokes fear in the public so that people share the article around (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

I think that the highlight of the lockdown has been the stories primarily focused on the positives, due to there being barely any material to motivate people in these current circumstances – I would focus on the clap for carers movement, however, I believe that, overtime, it has become a substitute rather than offering the actual support and finances they deserve for working in these particular conditions. I suppose that one story that caught my attention was how the Excel centre, that I usually go to every year for the convention “Comic Con”, was turned into a makeshift hospital. It was somewhat uplifting seeing the venue I annually visit turn into a place that can help individuals, and the transformation was fascinating, to me. Not only that, but I also heard that children were requested to draw pictures to display in the hospital in order to help it feel more homely to those staying there and give them a source of encouragement – which I think is an effectively helpful thing to do. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

One positive story that has come out during lockdown was that Nick Doody had a group WhatsApp chat with the rest of his neighbors’ and one of them pointed out how they were struggling with loneliness during the lockdown so they all came together to have a social distanced cup of tea and a chat together to help out. This story stood out to me because many people all over the country and even the world are struggling with loneliness during these hard times and the fact that the whole neighborhood came together to help out seemed like such a sweet thing to do. It just emphasizes that it is the small things that matter the most.

One negative story that came out during the lockdown period was that a young teenage girl (Betsy Sheil) spoke out about how she has missed her most valuable teenage years. Missing out on doing her GCSE exams, missing out on having one of her best summers of her life, missing out on having a proper farewell assembly with her school. She stated that she is “sad about missing out on the stuff that everyone normally gets to do”, this just shows how this turn of events has impacted many people around the world, people like Betsy. (Willow Stening, DJ1)

Who or what has inspired you most during lockdown? Tell us why…

Usually, most people’s response to this question would be a celebrity or journalist that inspires them. For me, It’s my mum who wakes up every day and goes out to fight the disease on the front line. She works in a Surgery in Norfolk which brings in Coronavirus patients frequently, even before they had access to PPE which meant she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to take two weeks off. After this, she went back to work with full PPE and continues to work on the front line. (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

Every single keyworker putting their lives at risk every day to keep us all safe are the ones that inspire me the most. They inspire me to be positive for what I have and to not take a single thing for granted. But also, every person that has lost a loved one during this difficult time inspires me to appreciate everyone I care about, as it can be taken from right in front of you. Even for the people that have lost loved ones to illnesses not related to the Corona virus and not be there to say goodbye must be the most heartbreaking thing in the world. I have lost a pet during this pandemic and I couldn’t be with her when she was put to sleep, I had to say goodbye outside of the vet surgery. So, to lose a family member and not be able to say goodbye is just unimaginable. The people that have had to do that also inspire me tremendously. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

The people who have inspired me the most during lockdown are the frontline workers, of those in the NHS and also my Mother, who works in a supermarket and has to put herself at risk every day. These people who have been doing everything that they can to help reduce the risks of deaths and still supply people with their weekly needs has made me realise that I need to stay calm and carry on through this tough time. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

Woman in PPE

Throughout lockdown I have been listening to many of the Joe Rogan Experience podcasts and I have been inspired by his work and how well he is able to lead a conversation and get a lot out of each guest. I am inspired by his work because I have recorded my own podcasts and I appreciate how difficult it can be to get a good response from a guest. One guest that he had on his podcast recently was Kevin Hart. I have always been a fan of Kevin Hart and his work, so I decided to give the podcast a listen. I thought the podcast was fantastic and although I took many things from the podcast. The one message that has stuck in my head is that ‘you always have a choice’. I feel that this quote has been a real eye opener into how we all make so many excuses for things that we did or didn’t do and it has made me reflect on my own actions every day and try to make sure that I do not make excuses because ‘you always have a choice’.  (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

Throughout the first 12 weeks of lockdown, I had been working in my local Co-op store to help out because they had many staff leave due to them being vulnerable, whether that be down to age or a health condition such as asthma. One shift there was a suspicious looking youngster who shoplifted. He had filled a whole basket full of wine and had run out of the shop with them without paying. About fifty yards down the road there was an elderly lady who wrestled the young man for the basket, and she managed to retrieve the basket for us. I found this woman an inspiration because she did not have to put herself at risk of being potentially assaulted, but she did it because she knew that it was the right thing to do. If only we had more people in our society with the courage and heart that this lady showed on that occasion, then our world would be a much better place. (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

Someone who has inspired me during lockdown is Strictly Come Dancing professional Dianne Buswell. Before the lockdown, Dianne had tours to do with her boyfriend, Joe Sugg and Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals. For 3 months, she was going to be doing back to back shows before heading into the new series of Strictly in September. However, all of that has been postponed to next year but Dianne has remained positive over the last 10 weeks. Almost every day, Dianne has done a live stream for her fans where she either does a dance routine or exercise session that people can watch and take part in. She doesn’t have to do these sessions every day, but she does because she wants to keep people moving and get them to do something new. Her positivity has made so many people enjoy their time in lockdown and has helped keep people motivated. People like Dianne keep the hope alive that things in the future will go back to normal. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

Anybody who works in hospitals has inspired me the most during the lockdown due to the fact that they know how bad this situation really is, unlike people like myself. Whether they’re doctors, nurses, shop workers or cleaners, they have been at the frontline of the virus, with the highest chance of being infected. My mum works as a cleaner in a mental hospital whilst my old classmate from school works in a shop at Darent Valley Hospital, with both obviously being at the centre of this all despite not working with patients. The stories which they are able to tell bring to light how serious the situation is, as I haven’t been there myself. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

My mother is the individual that has inspired me the most during this lockdown; regardless of how the circumstances have caused the atmosphere in the house to become a lot more tense, for me, I look up to how she is managing to cope through all of this. Being single, she not only looks after me and my sister with fairly limited finances, this year she also took on a job in order to support us all more effectively. Meaning, she works every day aside from Saturday – which I can imagine is challenging, during the pandemic. Mainly, it’s just the little things she has been doing that make me admire her. From this point forward, I would like to do more to help her, considering that I have now completed my college work for the year. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

The person that I feel has inspired me the most during lockdown would be either my girlfriend or my mum. My girlfriend has inspired me a lot as her past hasn’t been the best and she is still struggling now, but she gets up every morning and gets on with her day and makes the most of her time, she doesn’t let what anyone says get to her too much and she stays strong during the hard times. She helped me get through my bad days and helped me focus on the positive things every day. My mum has inspired me during lockdown because she gets up every morning goes for a run and the goes to work at college. My mum and her boss were the only teachers to go into college during the lockdown to make sure they got the work needed done to ensure they are helping their students to the best of their ability (stayed at a 2 meter distance though!). She would then come home and cook the family some dinner. She inspired me to get up and get my work done. She helped inspire me to help make dinners for the family and work together. (Willow Stening, DJ1)

What’s been your biggest personal ‘challenge’ since the lockdown began?

Childrens NHS Drawings

For me the hardest bit about lockdown would either be about not being able to be with my cat when she was put to sleep. Or, it would be not being able to hug or spend time with my grandparents as I am normally with them 3 days a week. Specially as my grandad has been poorly during lockdown so they have needed me as much as I have need them. There is obviously smaller struggles that have had an impact on my mental health such as not being able to see my friends or go to work as I love my job and have missed it ever since I was furloughed, but the main issues are the ones that have upset me the most through this difficult time. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

My biggest personal challenge during this lockdown is creating and keeping a routine. I’ve found it hard to keep on top of my calorie count for training and wake up at a decent time every day. Also, balancing personal time and work time when all I want to do is sleep. This was significantly worse at the beginning of lockdown as I feel it was the first time we’ve had a proper break but as the weeks go on, I’ve figured out how to regulate myself and create a daily routine which I’ve learned to stick to. (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

My biggest personal challenge at the beginning of lockdown was to wake up at a reasonable time and continue to have a full working day during the week of 10-5pm. This has become a lot easier for me now, but at the beginning I wasn’t waking up till 12pm and working in the evening instead of during the day. It’s harder for everyone to remain to a schedule when you have nothing to do and cannot leave the house. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

The biggest challenge of all for me throughout these tough times has been staying positive and motivated. Waking up every day knowing that you cannot do anything to change the current situation apart from following the government guidelines, which are not even followed by themselves. Like many, I enjoy the company of friends and family and to have that company taken away for most of the lockdown period was very tough. Before lockdown I would go and visit my grandparents usually every week to watch the football with my Grandad and tuck into one of my Nan’s delightful dinners. I usually watch lots of football as I find it as a way of forgetting about all my worries as I can just focus on the match. It is the exact same when it comes playing football. For the last four years I have played for local teams. This has helped me massively with getting in better shape, boosting my confidence and also building friendships. To not be able to play football like we could before is a real struggle for many people, including myself.  I have also really struggled to be productive when it comes to my college work. This is because I really struggle to focus while working from home as there are many distractions and I am easily distracted. Even when I was in year eleven taking my GCSE’s, I really struggled to revise from home, and it took me a long time to be able to do so effectively. I am disappointed in myself for not being more productive because I believe that when I am productive, I create so some really good work. (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

A big personal challenge for me is trying to keep my head together. Last year, I had a lot of personal problems that affected my life, which still do affect me. Over the past year, I have become so dependant on some people and have finally enjoyed having people to talk to about the problems that worry me. If I had an issue, I would go talk to my friends at school/ college about it and ask their opinions. It’s been hard not being able to meet up with people and just enjoy each other’s company. I don’t always like video calling people or texting people because I can get distracted and the conversation just fades out and I forget about it. I love hanging out with people and talking face to face; being able to laugh with each other. It has been a real challenge to keep my mind positive without having others to help me. I can’t wait for the day when I can meet with people again. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

My biggest challenge during lockdown has been finding the motivation to go outside, given that I now don’t have a reason to go anywhere. Before the lockdown was a thing I was constantly going outside, going to college, volunteering at a youth centre, going shopping and going out to see friends, but since lockdown has closed college and the youth centre as well as stopping people see each other I have been struggling to find the motivation to go outside. I rarely have to go shopping either due to my sister not having a form of work, meaning she can take my mum down into town to do the shopping and act as a delivery driver instead of me needing to go shopping with her to help carry the shopping home. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

I’d say that my biggest personal challenge since the lockdown began is managing to keep myself motivated, throughout all of this; it seems as if, this year, it’s been one thing after another, making it difficult to keep headstrong. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

One of my biggest personal challenges during lockdown has been getting out of bed every morning and getting on with my work. I feel as though I have struggled mentally during this pandemic, because being stuck indoors 24/7 left me overthinking the simplest of things and taking myself down dark roads mentally. As we are coming out of lockdown, I do feel myself becoming stronger mentally and physically. I found myself unable to concentrate for longer than 5 minutes at a time and my mind would go blank every time I sat down at my computer. (Willow Stening, DJ1)

What’s been your biggest personal ‘achievement’ since the lockdown began?

My biggest achievement of lockdown would be starting my new work from home job as a marketing executive for Readers Digest. I was extremely nervous to start this as It was a big step from what I am used to. However, I have settled into the role well and am enjoying the experience I am getting from it. I have also been gaining a lot of new skills such as social media management and creating newsletters using different editing platforms. What makes it harder is I would have been able to work from an office up London or from my managers home office as she is a family friend who I am covering while she is on maternity leave. So, to be on my own completing the daily tasks has put a bit of extra pressure on myself but I am doing well so that is why I would class this as my biggest achievement through lockdown. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

Everything is Going to Be Alright Written in Lights

My biggest personal achievement during this lockdown is probably maintaining the routine. Waking up at a set time every day, eating right and exercising 7 times a week even if it means I have to do a double session because I got lazy the day before. Another personal achievement is the amount I’ve learned during this lockdown period. Not only have I investigated the COVID-19 Pandemic to keep myself up to date with the situation, but I’ve also learned a lot about DIY and sourcing materials to finish my podcasting studio at home. (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

My biggest personal achievement is that I have managed to carry on working to my best ability and keeping myself mentally stable during the pandemic. I suffer from anxiety and there were many times that I was overthinking about the pandemic and worrying about my job and if I could complete all of my college work remotely. Getting over this and finishing the project that I wanted to complete as well as producing a radio show every week had really helped me. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

I feel that although this lockdown has been a tough test psychologically, I believe that it has been a real eye-opener into how much we take our freedom for granted. I believe that although I have felt very down and de-motivated during periods of this lockdown, I have still managed to achieve lots. One achievement has been getting up most mornings at 5am to go to work at my local co-op. Many a time, I would have loved to have just rung up my boss and tell him that I am too tired and I am going back to bed. However, I kept on grinding and I did my bit to help keep part of the local community running. By doing this I also established a routine which is so vital for maintaining good mental health and through a time where many are struggling mentally, this was a blessing. This routine also required discipline to get up every day no matter how tired, fed up or de-motivated I was. This discipline is one of the keys to success in anything that you do so I am proud of the discipline that I showed. I understand that there are probably millions of people across the nation who have been getting up at 5am every morning to commute to work so that they can provide for their families and they just get on with it because that’s just the way life is. However, when you are a 17 year old kid with no financial commitments other than a Netflix subscription, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to keep working and that is why I am proud that I kept going and did not just take the easy option and give up.

I have also been eating much healthier during lockdown, especially more fruit and less chocolate. Before lockdown you could say I was addicted to eating chocolate. It would be a real struggle and conscious effort to go just a few days without eating a bit of chocolate. However, at the start of lockdown I lost my appetite meaning that my crave for chocolate slowly started to fade. I started to buy my own fruit as it took the financial burden off of my Mum’s back. This improvement in diet has helped me lose roughly 6-8 lbs in weight and I have started to watch videos and read articles on improving my nutrition and fitness. I have now set myself a goal of getting to 10-12 % body fat by September. This will give me something to work on throughout the summer so that I am not wasting valuable time. (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

One of my achievements is being able to enjoy the simple things in life. Normally, I am so busy. I have college and work meaning I don’t have much time to relax. Due to the lockdown, I have been free all day and it has made me see the small things that we usually take for granted. One of these things is sunsets. I have always loved sunsets anyway, however, being in lockdown has given me the opportunity to finally slow down and appreciate it. I am always so busy and frantic that I have never realised how much pressure I actually put myself under. Last week, I took an amazing photo of one of the best sunsets I have seen. My parents and I have been decorating the garden over the course of the lockdown so we can sit outside and enjoy spending time among nature. I am so happy that I have been able to enjoy watching the sun go down as the darkness cascades over the open sky; it is simply magical. It makes me think back to being on holiday in holiday in Florida last year where we had a spectacular sunset. Lockdown feels like a holiday, just not a nice one. However, I am so lucky to have found the time to enjoy sunsets because I haven’t had to worry about work or college. No matter where in the world I am, I will always be in love with sunsets. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

Making a schedule in terms of college work is by far my biggest achievement. Given the limitations that I have in terms of doing my college work (having a bad laptop that can barely run Wix) I have managed to find a way around it to help me do as much work as I could towards my Final Major Project. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

Even though lockdown has had its negative aspects, for sure, it’s also given me the opportunity to stop, and focus more on myself – mainly, my nature, my relationships, what I want and what I need. Namely, just small things I could do to help me gradually have less of a weight on my shoulders. Because of this, I would say that regardless of whether I have my off days or not, in general I have managed to become a lot more positive; especially seeing as, before the full extent of the pandemic, I was struggling with a handful of conflicting feelings. A lot was happening all at once, before the quarantine, therefore it allowed me to have some time to myself and reflect. Therefore, with this being said, I’d say that, simply put, my biggest personal achievement is bettering myself as an individual and figuring out what I needed to do in order to have that happen. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

My biggest personal achievement during lockdown would be that I have done my best to stay positive and help others out as much as I could. If someone were having a bad day, I would make sure I was one of the first people to talk to them and help them out as much as I could. I did my best to help others smile even if I was not having the best of days myself. My main goal in life is to make people smile. I feel like I have achieved that during the lockdown period.  (Willow Stening, DJ1)

What’s the thing you look forward to most post lockdown?

The thing I look forward to the most is being able to spend time with my friends and family properly. I have visited my nan in the last few days and we stayed 2m apart but being able to see her in person rather than hearing her voice down the phone is just amazing. It is a small bit or normality that has returned and it is just wonderful to be laugh together and see each other’s emotions. Someone I am really missing is my boyfriend, Arron. He is type 1 diabetic and while he has not received a letter saying that he is a high-risk person, we both agreed that standing on the doorstep seems more punishing then not seeing each other at all. It would be heart-breaking to stand 2m apart from each other and not being able to hug each other. It is the freedom of seeing people whenever I want, how I want that I miss. Not being able to see Arron for 3 months is horrible so I can’t wait to give him a massive hug and tell him I love him. It’s going to be so emotional. (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

This is a very easy answer for me and probably the most generic answer. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal life. This time has made me feel very self-isolated from the normal world and I feel like I’m living in my own head most the time as social contact is very limited. Waking up, training alone, and eating alone is different from what I’m used to. I’m excited to get back to the gym, boxing and college. (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

The thing I am looking forward to the most post lockdown is being able to be with my grandparents again and take them out shopping as that is something we really enjoy doing together. I am also looking forward to going out for a drink with my friends and just being able to hug people again. There is lots I could say that I am looking forward to doing such as getting my nails done, going out for food and going to the cinema, but the main thing I am hoping for post lockdown is that everyone I care about remains safe and healthy so that we can return to our normal day to day lives. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

I am looking forward to getting back to normal, going to college and working again. As well as seeing all of my friends and my family again. I’m turning to be 18 this year and I want to celebrate it properly without having to be stuck inside. I am also looking forward to going to live music and gigs again as this is something I’ve really really missed. (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

The thing that I am looking forward to most post-lockdown is probably going to the cinema after a lovely meal at Nando’s. I was really looking forward to both Fast and Furious 9 and also the new James Bond film, but because of the virus, both films have been pushed back to later on this year when hopefully we will be able to go and see them in the cinema, even if it is socially distanced. I am also looking forward to just being able to go and see my Grandparents without the worry that I may contract the virus and pass it onto them. Just normality, that’s what I am looking forward to, even if it takes a couple of years, it will be worth the wait! (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

Being able to go outside and see people is the thing I look forward to after the lockdown is over. Whether I’m speaking to people or playing football with them, as long as I don’t have to stay two meters away from them I will settle with it. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

The thing I look forward to the most post lockdown is, mainly, being able to see my friends again; not seeing anyone for well over three months, at the time of writing this, it’s making me look back and appreciate even the smaller things, such as being able to see them whenever. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

Once lockdown is over, I am most looking forward to getting back to work at McDonald’s. Some people think I am crazy for saying that, but the atmosphere at work was so positive and uplifting. I liked being active and always doing something, I like to keep myself busy as it keeps me distracted from all the bad that is going on in the world.  (Willow Stening, DJ1)

What are the key skills that you’ve learned this year, and how do you plan on using them moving forwards?

This year I have learned how to use a recording studio when I have recorded my football podcast. I would like to use this moving forward by keep recording podcasts more frequently and on a larger range of topics that are not football or sport related. This has also taught me how tough it is to record a good quality podcast when it comes to asking good questions that can be followed up with an interesting response. I would like to also start writing blogs on each matchday for the Premier League to help practice my writing skills. I have also learned how to use Adobe Audition and premiere Pro to a stage where I can produce a decent piece of work when using them. I would like to use these audio editing skills to help enhance my own podcasts to a higher quality. I would like to also use these video editing skills moving forward by stepping up more when it comes to my APD internship. I can do this by offering to edit clips of games and goal of the month videos ect. By doing this I will be producing more content that I can use to build up my CV to give me a better chance of getting into the industry. I have also learned how to produce a Vox-populi to a decent standard. I will use this moving forward by using it as a way of getting some primary research if I am writing a blog ect. I can also use these interviewing techniques if I end up interviewing APD players or managers for a piece of work.  (Harrison Durling, DJ1)

Students on Laptops

Personally, I think the most useful skill this year that I’ve learned during college time is my ability to understand Audio. The course allowed me to start my own business which I’m progressing during the lockdown and will soon be produced from my own home which I wouldn’t have been able to do without the knowledge I’ve gained from NKC. I’m hoping to make a salary from this and make it a full-time job by the end of the 2-Year course. (Ben Brooks, DJ1)

Through this whole experience I have leant a lot of life skills that will help carry me through the next stages of my life. Both with my college work and with my ordinary life such as learning to overcome different problems and keeping myself occupied while spending a lot of time at home. I have learnt to stand on my own two feet and work out how to get used to my new job while dealing with difficult clients and maintaining a profession title with a lot of responsibility in uploading content to their website.  If the global pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to never take anything for granted and be thankful for everything and everyone you have around you as you never know what tomorrow holds. (Lauren Crowhurst DJ2)

have learnt lots of key skills this year. One, my ability to bake, but the main one being how I’ve managed to problem solve and overcome problems during quarantine. This is a skill that I will definitely benefit from in the future when it comes to problems or things that could go wrong, I will hopefully be able to overcome these problems and make it work. I have also managed to work better in a team from certain projects that I have done this year, which again will help me in the future when I can hopefully attain an apprenticeship (Emily-Jane Sands DJ1)

One of the skills that I have learnt this year is the importance of teamwork. During the last project that we did, we had to work all together as a class which resulted in many disagreements throughout the project. In the last 5 years at secondary school, I did subjects that didn’t involve working as a team so I was quite excited to work with everyone to complete the project. I enjoyed being with other people and sharing ideas that we all had, creating something that we were all proud of. Moving forward, I feel like I am more confident with working with other people and I have found people that I work well with who have similar interests as me. Next year if I have to work with other people, I have more faith in myself and won’t hold back on sharing my thoughts.  (Daniella Semple, DJ1)

The key skills which I have learned this year are adaptability and creative thinking. The main one which I have developed is adaptability. Having to adapt to not going into college to do my work, having a good PC, and not having my tutors there all the time has resulted in me changing how I think. Personally, I didn’t think I would adapt that well, but when it came to it I was able to adapt pretty quickly, which will help me in the future. One instance in where this will be useful in the future is if I leave one job and start another. Having to adapt to a new workspace quickly will be vital. When it comes to creative thinking I will always be using this, whether it’s when producing work in college, university, the workplace, or even playing a game. (Kane Nutley, DJ2)

This year, throughout the course, I’ve developed various key skills that will help me for the future. Primarily, I’ve been given the opportunity to figure out that, despite my anxious nature as a person, I have skills within presenting, and I now have the accessibility to build upon that. I aim to, in the next year, start my own radio show focused on the premise I created for my final project; with the final project being the base planning for the first episode. Along with this, I have also been introduced to software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition, that I was previously interested in before – now that I am educated in how to use them, though, I can now say that I have a fair amount of experience within these programs. I enjoyed using them, as well, meaning that I now know it’s something I desire to keep working with moving forward. (Tia McGrew, DJ1)

Throughout the whole of this year I have learned a lot of new skills that I am sure will help me progress in the future. Skills such as editing and recording. I know these skills will help me in the future as I intend to go down a path of working behind the camera in the media industry. I intend to use these skills at my next year in college so that I can improve on them and go down the path that I wish to and create content for the media. Another skill I have learned Is people skills, as before starting college I was a very socially awkward girl and doing this media course has helped me come out of my shell a bit more and I now no longer struggle as much when talking to new people. This skill will help me because it means I am able to make new friends and speak to people easier than before.  Overall, this course has helped me in a lot of different aspects in my life and has helped me learn things I never thought I would learn. Thank You Miskin Media. (Willow Stening, DJ1)

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