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Sunnier days ahead: Things we’re looking forward to after lockdown

Because it’s good to have goals, right?

27 May 2020

It’s been a long haul. Days have merged into weeks, and then into months. Yes, the rules have been ever-so-slightly relaxed lately but learning stays online, shops, almost everything remains shut, and we still can’t see our families. But even though the light at the end of the tunnel is a mere pinprick, we can’t help but dream about what we might do with our post-lockdown lives.

One thing is for sure — nothing is going to be like it was before. At least not for a long time. But aside from being reunited with our friends and family members like grandparents, nieces and nephews, there are some things we know we should be able to enjoy fairly soon — things we cannot wait to return to.

So, we’ve compiled our own little to-do list!

We’re not even apologising for putting this at the very top of our list.

Yes there’s all the others we’ve missed (a McFlurry right now would be amazing), but it’s safe to say the Nando’s experience is not only what we need, it’s what we deserve.

That chicken, those sides, the bottomless drinks — the cheap prices. Cheeky? Yes. Fundamentally crucial to our overall wellbeing? Absolutely.

Just an hour on the train or a quick hop on the bus from our Kent campuses and we’ll be able to don our sun cream, get out our buckets and spades and hit the sand. All that fresh air, ice cream and chips and a disposable barbecue… heavenly.

Any pub. Either on Saturdays for sport, Sundays for a banging roast with a pint or any other day when the beer garden calls.

It’s not until our local was closed that we realised how much we treasured it and the day we can sup a dark fruit cider in the sun is one we are itching for.

Our brains are craving a cultural hit, and while there’s been some fantastic digital offerings by our favourite galleries and museums so far, it’s going to be wondrous to be able to see art up close and personal again. First stop for us is probably going to be the V&A swiftly followed by anything else that’s open — local and national.

While we’re still on that culture trip, we also cannot wait to get back into theatres of all shapes and sizes. To be fair, the amount of online broadcasts of amazing theatre has been brilliant, not least National Theatre At Home. We’ve loved watching big-time productions from the comfort of our sofas. But at the same time, it’s only made us miss the immersive theatre experience even more. When the lights go back on, we’ll be first in line for curtain up.

Yes, of course online shopping is alright — it’s been a lifeline for many of us. If we’re being honest, though, we’re really missing going into our local art stores and browsing the selection of weird and wonderful mediums to try, and finding that one thing we need to complete our work. We really miss it, like when we missed the smell of old books when we ditched them in favour of a kindle.

We can’t wait to get back onto campus. Our passes not working all the time, the buzz of the refectory, the cheap cuppa and those nice blueberry muffins. The hum of activity, cool art everywhere you look. The libraries. All the amazing exhibitions, proper time with our tutors and sessional staff, seeing our mates. Clubs and societies, drinks in the Student Union bar, having our own time and space to do what we want, when we want. Sigh.

We also asked our students what it was they were looking forward to, and here’s our favourite responses!

“I’m looking forward to being able to be creative with them again and being able to get my boyfriend to photograph the work I’ve been creating. It’ll also be great when me and my best friend can go to concerts together again.”

The reason why I am looking forward to making films at UCA the most, is because of the creative environment that UCA excels at. It’s a hard thing being a filmmaker in quarantine, cause everything that makes you want to tell your stories is the fascinating world that we live in, but with us being away from it, it seems difficult to continue with the same passion. I’ve missed being on set, I’ve missed the laughs and the adrenaline when being in a tight spot during production. I am so excited to come back and develop scripts, talk with the tutors and exchange our ideas, learn more about filmmaking and love my art even more, all of that because of UCA. With all of the limitations in place our creativeness and the stories that we so eagerly want to tell have been on a break, but I am so hopeful that UCA will come back stronger as ever and our passion for the arts will exceed everything that we’ve ever done.

“I enjoy spending time by myself at home, so the most difficult thing about lockdown has been having that choice taken away from me.”

“I’m most looking forward to hugs with close friends and family! A hug is like a thousand words and something which I think everyone took for granted before lockdown.”