COVID-19: How are teenagers coping? With inspiration and innovation..

Silhouettes of 9 young people on a hill at sunset

It’s been a remarkable few months so far, to say the least. It seems there is a question mark hanging over a lot of aspects of everyone’s lives at the moment, and this feeling has become almost familiar. For students who were in the thick of exam preparation at the beginning of lockdown, things have been feeling even stranger. Normally, students would have been in the midst of exam crunch time, a last push in what has been the culmination of many years’ hard work. Instead, Sixth Formers have had to adapt to the idea that exams have been cancelled, there has been no end-of-year celebrations, and no mountain of work to do that had for so long been at the centre of their weekdays and weekends.

At MyPocketSkill, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the experiences and challenges of young people in the world today. This situation due to COVID-19 is no different. From the offset we’ve been talking to Sixth Formers, GCSE students and other teenagers across the UK to try and understand how they’re feeling at this time and what they are doing now that they have unexpected stretches of free time. Unsurprisingly, a lack of structure and motivation has been a common theme in our discussions with teenagers over the past month. There’s a mixture of relief and positivity at the cancellation of exams, coupled with a sense of deprivation of the rite of passage that A Levels so often are for students across the UK.

That being said, the conversations we’ve had have been nothing short of inspiring.

From university prep courses in psychology, to picking up some conversational Spanish, to not only maintaining skills but taking this time to improve skills in dancing and guitar - it’s been a happy surprise to hear about how proactive Sixth Formers are while we all try and navigate our new routines.

Don’t get us wrong - we are not trying to suggest that major productivity is the be-all and end-all at this time. It’s equally as important to take time to relax, be mindful that each day will bring new positives and negatives and that it won’t be possible to achieve everything you’ve wanted. However the enthusiasm and innovation of those who we’ve spoken to was striking enough to lead us to launch our £5 for 45 campaign where capable A Level and GCSE teens offer sessions in everything from Spanish to violin to art and dance lessons via video call to families with younger children who are trying to strike a good balance between working from home and home-schooling.

We’ve been delighted with the reaction to our campaign so far, it’s been encouraging to see the positive impact our teens are having on the daily lives of younger children, as well as the impact of getting involved in our programme has had on their own routines and structure. The resilience and proactive nature of these teens has been fantastic to watch.

Their ability to find positives during this adverse time is a lesson that we can all bring forward into our daily routines." 

Register for free on our website to get full access to the wide variety of listings available as part of our £5 for 45 campaign now!

Ciara Cremin is a Youth Policy Analyst at MyPocketSkill

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