Learning during lockdown

(BA) Fashion Business and Promotion student Emily Orr talks about how she continued learning during lockdown.

"I remember often tuning into the news and hearing of a slow-spreading virus called COVID-19, but it never really struck me that the same disease would soon become a global pandemic that would fuel the world with panic and fear."

Within a matter of weeks the sudden and aggressive acceleration of the virus changed society as we know it and I went from living my most independent life in Birmingham, to living back under my parents roof in a nationwide lockdown. During this uncertain time, with remote teaching to begin and a new deadline looming over my shoulders, I faced many issues. How could I maintain a strong relationship with my team through a screen? Would I be able to self-motivate myself from my bed? 

To my surprise, online learning was rather enjoyable and proved how resilient and adaptable we as students can be. As the weeks passed the cityscape of Birmingham became a mere distant memory and everyday became filled with the comforting familiarity of being at home, the laughter of my sister, my father’s cooking and my mother's words of wisdom. The adjustment of working from home made me realise that I may never get this chance to spend this much time with my family again; perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. 

After Easter what would have been my work placement module had been deemed no longer viable. The feelings of disbelief and contempt overwhelmed my body and a new found dread for the alternative module blinded my vision. 

The alternative module was a collaboration with a range of individuals from different courses, that I’d never met before. And if that wasn’t enough, due to the nature of lockdown, I could only communicate with them through online platforms. Initially we all felt the same. Despite the obvious challenges, though, it gave us all the opportunity to think laterally, challenge “the norm”, innovate, use technology in new ways, and share skills with individuals we would not otherwise interact with. It also opened the doors to new friendships and forming networks of creative individuals that will hopefully be of benefit in the future. 

Finally, from my experience, online teaching has also provided me with a well needed distraction from the constant headlines of tragedy and despair and allowed me to appreciate the simple things like being home and safe.