18 year olds, COVID-19 and staying motivated

I believe that I have done my fair share of sitting in school halls for assemblies or end of year services and accepted the fact I was going to be hit with words like ‘resilience’ and ‘motivation’. I am sure a large proportion of my age group can say the same. During these assemblies (if I haven’t already zoned out), I often think ‘do you know how tired I am?’ and ‘it is easy for you to say that when you’re not in my position’ when I am confronted with such words. They often make me feel like I haven’t done enough, rather than motivating me

I think what I am trying to say is that during recent times these words have escalated around the confusion of exams, university and just our futures in general. So, I think I speak for nearly the entirety of the secondary school community by saying ‘get off our backs!’. 

With that said, I have been swayed recently with the idea of ‘motivation’ and ‘resilience’. As an individual I have come to terms with the fact that there is actually resilience and motivation in everything we do. For example, you don’t have to get out of bed at all, that’s a choice. Even if you don’t get out of bed and scroll on your phone all day, you have made a conscious effort to get your phone. Finding resilience and motivation in the small things we do everyday is something I believe should be highlighted more to my age group. The fact that we make choices everyday and behind choice there is motivation to make that choice, shows that we are motivated and resilient all the time. With this in mind, my age group has been overwhelmingly resilient and motivated with their future by taking it into their own hands. For example, a girl that I work with has just been accepted to work for the NHS, despite the fact she struggled at school. Also, a boy who lives down the road from me has been accepted as an extra for a Netflix series, despite there being no theatre or drama due to COVID-19. These people are just small advocates for my age group who are turning crumbs into the whole cake and eating it, despite the impact of COVID-19. 

Personally, for me, I have struggled a lot with resilience and motivation over the series of lockdowns. From not knowing what I want to do, to not knowing if I want to go to university and so on. It is only recently that I have discovered a real drive to become a broadcast journalist. However, due to COVID-19, finding work experience has become a real issue. I always planned to apply for the BBC work experience programme for virtual journalism, however, this programme has remained closed due to lockdown, which has been the case for most work experience programmes. In order to ensure I achieve what I set out for, I have to follow the crumbs to my own cake, finding resilience, motivation and joy in the smaller things. 

So, next time you are sat in that painstakingly dull and ironic end of year service or assembly, and you hear the infamous words ‘resilience’ and ‘motivation’. Just think ‘You are lucky.I am motivated to be here’.

Lucy Glider, Gloucester

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