While Valentine’s Day is traditionally a celebration of romance, this year, due to the pandemic keeping us all apart in little bubbles, we’ve decided to instead focus on the love shared between friends and family members. Now that the UK vaccine rollout is going so well and the weather can only get better, we asked our pupils what they were most looking forward to when lockdown restrictions are finally lifted, and we are free to meet people, travel and share experiences. Instead of luxury holidays abroad or large parties, it was being free to meet up with missed loved ones which emerged as the number one thing our pupils are most eager to do.
The number one response was spending unrestricted time with friends and family. One pupil said: “I am most looking forward to being able to see all my friends because I miss them so much.” Another added: “To be able to spend time with friends properly without any rules.”
One of the most heart-breaking aspects of the pandemic has been the impact it has had on families who are not allowed to see each other under strict lockdown rules. Our pupils also frequently told us that this is something they are especially looking forward to. One pupil told us: “Another thing I can’t wait to do is see my grandparents because I have not seen them in so long and I really miss them.” Another pupil added: “There are lots of things I miss of course! But I am especially looking forward to hugging my grandma!”
With travel and holidays banned as well thanks to COVID-19, it’s little surprise that many pupils responded by saying one of the things they are most looking forward to is a change of scenery. One pupil told us: “I miss travelling. As a result of the pandemic, I have a greater appreciation for the world we live in and I want to take advantage of the amazing opportunities and experiences.” Another respondent added: “I am most looking forward to going away on holiday with family or friends and seeing a different culture again – despite how much I love England!”
With schools closed across the country, many pupils are missing the routine of school life as well as their friends. Many of our pupils commented that getting back to school to be amongst their friends again and get back into the routine of school life was what they missed most. One pupil said: “Messing around in lessons with friends is what I miss most, because being away from school for almost a year, I realised how much I took that for granted, and just being able to sit in a classroom with my classmates around me having face-to-face conversations is something that I miss a lot.” Another pupil told us: “I am looking forward to coming back to Framlingham. I would love to see my friends again as soon as possible!”
For many, sport is a major part of life, especially for our pupils at Framlingham College, who are encouraged to lead active lifestyles. It’s no surprise then, that with sports facilities being closed and team sports halted, many pupils are missing their sporting routines. One pupil told us: “The thing I’m looking forward to the most when restrictions are lifted is seeing my friends and playing hockey and cricket matches.” Another pupil added: “Another thing I am looking forward to is getting back into playing sport.”
Finally, while shopping did not feature high on the list of priorities for many youngsters who answered our poll, some pupils particularly missed shopping trips in person, rather than online. However, even these responses were more about shopping as a way to spend time with friends. Pupils said: “Going out and having meals with my friends and also going shopping because I enjoy the shops.” Another pupil added: “Going shopping, browsing the shops and trying things on because the amount of clothes I’ve bought that are too big or that don’t look like the picture is ridiculous.”