Avenue Beat’s pop song F2020 has struck a chord with a generation - two thousand and twenty was meant to be the year. Covid changed all of that, for everyone. So, despite the collective feeling of a fresh start and an exciting new venture towards personal or professional growth, a global pandemic literally has taken over our lives. It is affecting us all in different ways, changing our plans, cancelling dream trips, and leaving many asking, ‘what do I do now?’
For many, travel plans have gone out the window. That big trip which was painstakingly researched, planned and saved for is no longer possible in a Covid climate. In a recent article, journalist Nylah Burton discusses how Covid had taken her long-awaited, and hard-earned, trip through Europe. That bubble message from Lockdown 1.0 is now slightly different, the whole of New Zealand is in an international bubble of its own, letting only Kiwi’s cross the border into the Country. International travel and trips of a lifetime look far away. What’s more, tourism experts are advising New Zealand businesses to "pivot" to the home market, to attract Kiwi's in this summer.
When it comes to the all-important school exams, we just have to look to our friends in the UK to see just how bad it can get. In August, school leavers were opening their “results” for subjects that they never sat exams for because of Coronavirus. What they found was an algorithm derived score which was wide of the mark for an overwhelming majority. Their further studies depended on results which they hadn’t got.
The college and university experience is different now too. Online platforms have been an integral part of 21st century further education, but now they appear to be the approach. Those hoping to start in the new year might be wondering if their fresher experience will be what they dreamed it would be. Social distancing… in halls of residence... it doesn’t quite match the expectations.
Working from home may be an approach to earning an income that people can get behind. The flexibility is a real bonus. But there are those who love the buzz and sense of community in the workplace. Coronavirus has changed the game in that regard - alternate shifts in the office, staggered starts or even a reduction in hours.
The job market has changed shape too. With possible opportunities in emerging markets and new roles in promoted positions being put on hold, there is even a reduction in the number of entry level jobs. Employers are seeing a big increase in the number of applications for advertised posts. The pandemic has left a lot of people out of work or drastically impacted their employment outlook.
It is so important to recognise that you are not alone. Yes, Covid-19 has affected you in a unique way, your individual response is completely personal. But the people around you have also been impacted by the global pandemic and are coping in their own way. So, what does that mean? Here are a few things to consider:
Talk about it - with friends or family or even support groups. Being open about how you are feeling about how your future plans have been affected is an important part of processing things. It’s healthy to share.
Listen - really listen. Offer others the opportunity to talk about how they are feeling about everything. You might just have some similarities or even some advice to share.
Don’t repeat yourself. Having the same conversation over and over isn’t healthy for you and it won’t help the relationships you have. Recognise that you aren’t over it and think about what you can do to make a change.
Do some research and consider your options. There are processes being put in place to support individuals whose circumstances have been impacted by the global pandemic. There are also alternatives, there are always alternatives, you just need to do the work to find them. When you do, dive right in and be positively proactive.
Now we’re into September and on the home straight to summer, the effects of coronavirus are still being felt across the globe and in so many ways. We may not have borders which are open, and we might be looking closer to home for adventures and those future plans, but take stock. Covid-19 will only ruin your plans if you let it. Re-adjust, or pivot, your approach and goals a little, and you’ll find that the end of this year can be significantly better than you might expect. Read about conscious choices post lockdown.