hey’re the years we all tend to look back on with the most fondness as we get older…
Our first night out in Dublin, our first proper hit of something illicit, our first kiss, the best music ever, and not a care, bill or mortgage in the world.
It’s also that glorious few years in life when we can complain that there’s absolutely nothing to do, and then stay out all night doing it.
But what if a great big pandemic comes along and rips all those rites of passage right out of your diary?
Having had a few words of wisdom and comfort from Archdeacon Edgar Swann about breaking on through to the bright side, this time out, it’s the turn of 19-year-old Ruben Sweeney, who found his sunny future turning decidedly darker when Covid-19 came along…
I had my last day of school on Thursday March 12th, 2020. I remember thinking, ‘sweet, two weeks off school’, but what followed was far from sweet.
The remainder of the school year consisted of exam stress, online classes, uncertainty and a lack of answers and decisions with regards to the leaving cert for worried students. I found myself not committing to my studies as much because I was unsure whether the exams were going ahead or not, and if I should even bother. My motivation was at a low; it was extremely difficult to live in such a reclusive way as I would consider myself a very sociable person.
Not being able to see my girlfriend or hang out with the lads started to have an adverse affect on my mental health.
The summer after the first lockdown was a complete change of scenery. A few of the restrictions had eased, the weather was good, and after a long, lonely 3 months, we were able to see each other again and hang out in small groups. It was an inspiring time as it was the first glimpse of normality we had had in what felt like forever. The summer was short-lived and soon afterwards things went back to the way they were before.
Subject covered completely RUBEN.
Even at the darkest moments there are always options.
Your decision to change direction was brave, scary, inspired and inspiring.
The power of lateral thinking at its best.