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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in November 2017 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

I think I made you up

Ayesha, 11RD2, tells about how lockdown has been for her.

As odd as it might sound, the beginning of lockdown brought a sense of relief for me. While the cancellation of exams was unbelievably frustrating, and our exit from school was memorable, returning home on the 20th March allowed me to feel a release of tension that was previously looming around me. In essence, it meant that we no longer had to wonder how and when our everyday lives would be halted by the coronavirus.

Being at home constantly was strange at the start of lockdown, finding a new sense of normality paired with resurfacing questions about how we were supposed to live our lives. I found myself resting and spending time with family. I continued to work on my hobbies such as reading, making art, and learning my favourite languages. I managed to leave the house for daily exercise and call friends to check in on them regularly.

However, nearing the end of April, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began. Fasting every day for a month isn’t ever easy to acclimatise to, but it is always rewarding. I took advantage of my free time within Ramadan to take up extra Quranic studies ( the study of the Muslim holy book), reading the Quran itself daily, in both Arabic and English, as well as taking courses about their content and involving family to enrich the experience. I also continued to exercise daily, despite the exhaustion.  I found Ramadan quite rewarding this year, even though it was harder, with fewer distractions!

We celebrated Eid after Ramadan was over and finally dressed up! Celebrations consisted of waving at family members from their driveways and gardens, staying much further that six feet apart. I found it quite hard, having to wrestle the urge to hug my grandparents who were on the other side of their windows.

Now that Ramadan is over, I have had much more free time and energy again. I have been completing A-Level bridging work in my chosen subjects as well as further reading for the courses.

I have been learning languages again and working my way through my perpetually growing stacks of unread books! My favourites recently have been “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath and “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Sylvia Plath’s poetry and writing have always interested me, but lockdown gave me a chance to create art that surrounded it- I recently created a small piece with a line from one of my favourite poems of hers, reading “I think I made you up inside my head”. I found it quite fitting, given that we are currently all inside and wondering if we really led the lives we did before now.

Apart from 40 Minute bike rides to take myself away from the microcosm of normality within our house, I am enjoying taking semi-academic courses again. In the past I have taken courses through The Open University and Oxford Open Learning, to do with law, psychology, languages, sciences and literature. I have found such courses useful to support A-Level bridging work recently, as well as interesting during such an odd time.

It’s quite strange to think that by 20th June we will have been social distancing and locked down in our homes for three months. If we’ve made it this far, surely, we can make it ‘til the end!ere is one thing I can say with conviction, however, which has occurred to me throughout this experience, from the moment we left school until now, and it is this - one of the most human sensations is not to know. While we are unsure of what entirely will happen next and how we will cope, we can be sure that not knowing is something we carry with us from birth. Essentially, we come into the world not knowing what holds for us and we live in the same way, at the mercy of life itself. It is, then, a shared experience which we all are subject to at this time. The greatest comfort we can take currently is in knowing that we will return to our lives soon and continue to pursue the things that we are passionate about.                                                                                 Ayesha, 11RD2