Every week, the Jack Petchey Foundation features voices of outstanding young people on their blog to share their thoughts and experiences while socially distancing. Our college works closely with the Jack Petchey Foundation and awards outstanding students with the Jack Petchey Achievement Award each term.
In May, Suhaana, one of our Level 2 Performing and Production Arts students, was featured twice on their blog, giving stay at home advice and sharing her thoughts during Mental Health Awareness Week. In November 2019, Suhaana was awarded with a Jack Petchey Achievement Award for her open and welcoming attitude towards others and passion for her course projects, always completing work ahead of time.
In her stay at home blog post, Suhaana said, “I remember the day when lockdown was announced, and college closed. So many questions were racing through my mind: What will I do now? How will I rehearse for my final college performance? How will I get my coursework done? I was panicking again, then I reminded myself to stay calm because panicking won’t get me anywhere, it will only make things worse. I also remembered that, I was not alone in this situation and my other classmates will be thinking the same thing. That is a key point to remember during this time: You are never alone. Eventually I found an answer to all the questions my mind was asking and now I am studying safely at home with all my teachers to support me online.
“When I started isolating at home, the first question I asked myself was: how am I going to stay occupied and busy during lockdown? I’m not too much of a going out person as I am a staying home person, but I must say I do love my daily trips to the bank, seeing my friends, going to college, and going to Waterstones to read and discover new romance stories! But now I can’t do any of those activities and at first I was struggling with lockdown because of this situation.
“Then it came to me: I can focus on my creative writing and develop my stories, I could also practise my piano and learn new songs, read some more books, watch more films and I could do some baking! So now during lockdown, I am doing all these activities alongside taking little walks for fresh air to keep myself busy and occupied during lockdown. So my advice to you will be to think to yourself: What is it I love to do? What makes me happy and keeps a smile on my face? Whether it’d be spending time with your loved ones, taking a little walk, facetiming your friends, jamming out to music, or even trying new things, if it puts a smile on your face then do it!
“Spending time with your family and friends is the best way to get through these tough times and it definitely has helped me. I know with all the social distancing, it can be hard to meet up with your friends and family in person, but there is always a way you can stay connected with them so that you are never alone, whether that would be facetiming, talking on the phone, and even texting them.”
In her Mental Health Awareness Week blog post, Suhaana also highlighted how “talking to loved ones and friends, listening to music, reading books, writing stories/scripts, playing piano, watching fun things on YouTube, taking a hot shower, and drinking tea” helped her to not get overwhelmed or anxious.
Reflecting on mental health, Suhaana said, “I want you to remember to never be afraid of trying out new techniques to help you cope with your mental health and also never be afraid to try anything new! And remember that, during this time or any time, you are never alone because we’re all in this together and we will get through it together!”