‘It was quite a healing period’: Young people are nostalgic about time spent in lockdown

‘I was able to reflect and celebrate my own achievements for the first time in a while’

For almost two years, bars and nightclubs across the country were shut to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Young people waited in anticipation for “freedom day” to arrive in order for life to return to the way it was before the pandemic. Recently however, some young people are beginning to feel nostalgic towards their lives during lockdown.

Whilst the freedoms of every-day life came to an abrupt halt for what felt like forever, some decided to be productive and pick up new skills or reflect on their lives and so forth. There is no doubt that the pandemic and numerous lockdowns proved to be an incredibly difficult time for young people particularly, but some feel as though aspects of them enriched their personalities and relationships with family and close friends.

We spoke to eight young people who feel nostalgic about aspects of the time they spent in lockdown:

Francis, 21 – Leicester


“The pandemic gave me the time to be creative. During lockdown, I’d got to try things I’d never got around to doing because I didn’t have the time – I started my own small business making resin things that unfortunately I haven’t been able to do for a while as I don’t have the time that I did in lockdown.

“A major thing is that I suffer from anxiety, especially social, so not having to think about seeing people, meeting people, having to engage with them made me feel so relaxed. It was quite a healing time period, and therefore it made coming out of lockdown even more difficult as I became used to that lifestyle in a way.”

Brandon, 20 – London

“During the pandemic I got to spend much more time with my uni flatmates, and obviously being around them a lot more meant that I got to see the ups and downs of each other’s emotions far more than if we weren’t in lockdown. We all definitely gained a stronger bond with each other when going through lockdown together.

“I also miss the online exams aspect of it, as it made the whole uni experience a little less stressful.”

Juliette, 20 – Leeds


“I loved the pandemic, personally! As someone who struggled a lot in first year, both personally and academically, the pandemic came at a perfect time. Whilst I went into quarantine with a chest infection and mumps, I was able to quickly create a routine of exercising, revising, baking, reading and watching films in the evening with a glass of wine! It would be a lie to say I loved every second of it, but overall I found it very refreshing.

“The most valuable thing that the pandemic taught me was to stop comparing myself to others as I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome in the past. However, in a time where the whole world was stuck in their homes, I was able to reflect and celebrate my own achievements for the first time in a while.”

Vritti, 21 – Birmingham

“One of the main things I miss about lockdown is the peace of not stressing as much about work. I had the time to enjoy life at home with family, doing the most basic things like cooking and baking – things I haven’t had the chance to appreciate in a while.

“I miss the slow pace of life during lockdown at uni compared to how it is now. I was able to take everything slowly and enjoy movie nights whilst spending quality time with my flatmate.”

Zaina, 22 – Liverpool

“The pandemic gave me the opportunity to reflect on my religious beliefs when I felt like I’d lost sight of them. The world stopped and I loved it as I had the time to think about who I was as a person and what the next steps with my life were at the time.

“As it happened at the end of my second and beginning of my final year at uni, I applied for grad schemes and was successful as I had the time to really focus on my application. Without the pandemic, that level of concentration wouldn’t have existed because normal life is too busy.” 

Zach – Manchester

“Summer lockdown with my family was great. We were fortunate enough to have financial aid as my parents are small business owners so we could enjoy the sunshine and each-others company.

“Also, while at university in Winter 2020, it was a right laugh with everyone always being around since we couldn’t go anywhere.”

Erin, 20 – Newcastle


“Something I miss is how much simpler life was, with all the lectures being online you didn’t have to worry if you’d decided to drink the night before because you had nowhere to go. If you wanted to go out for an activity between November – March time you could pretty much only go for a walk with a friend and maybe get a coffee. I realised how much I value going for walks and doing small things to catch up one on one with people.

“Also, as a medical student specifically, I don’t think I’ll ever have that level of self-timetabling and work from home freedom ever again. I definitely get nostalgic for that as it was such a unique experience.”

Emily, 21 – Nottingham

“I actually really enjoyed the first lockdown where my first year got cut short and I didn’t have to attend my summer placement in Hull and went back home instead. I was so stressed about the placement because I literally couldn’t afford it.

“When my placement got cancelled, it helped me out so much in addition to my exams being online. I got to look after my niece for three months and bonded with her significantly, so that was the best lockdown for me personally.”

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