Erin’s Story

Erin’s Story

“… we could also just share in the absurdity of it all, which was ‘What has just happened?”

“In the early days, I remember, we were only allowed out once a day and it was for like, half an hour of exercise. And I remember spending that half an hour; I would either facetime my friend and we’d wander about Barrhead but we’d be in different places in Barrhead. So we’d be talking but we would be nowhere near each other; we’d be in completely opposite places in the town. An’ I feel that really helped me because, not only did it make me closer to that friend but we could also just share in the absurdity of it all, which was ‘what has just happened?’ you know?”

“An I just remember going, ‘Right I’ll try my best with the home learning,’ and it was… a big change because it was very hard to keep in contact with your teachers and to do the work because you didn’t know when you were meant to be doing the work. You know, there was a disconnect between us and our staff at the school and they were really good with it. Everybody adapted really, really well, considering the circumstances. We had never heard of Google Classroom before this; we’d never heard of Google Meet, Zoom. It was completely new to us and although… we’re more tech savvy now that we’ve maybe been in previous years… we didn’t know how to cope maybe necessarily, in the beginning. But we did and we only thought it was gonna be for two weeks and then it got to the two weeks, and then it got to the holidays and then we sort of realised we’re not coming back from this… this is here for the long haul.”

Erin Love at Arthurlie House, Barrhead, photograph by Wes Kingston

“The only positive thing, I would say, from the Covid pandemic is that it’s just made me realise how important everything is. You know, how important family is, how important friends is and just to realise what should you be focusing on, like what should be your priorities in life? Because, there’s certain things now that, I would’ve went two years ago, ‘Oh I need to do this, I need to do that…,’ that I’m not bothered about any more because of Covid. And I’m goin’ ‘No, I need to re-evaluate.’ So in a sense it’s made me, you know, take off the [laughs] the blinkers and just realise what is actually important.”

“In schools, I feel there’s not enough talked about. I feel that we’re expected to carry on as normal and I feel that in a way that is good. You do need to carry on as normal, you can’t just, you know, live in denial and wallow in it. But at the same time there needs to be a conversation about this because this is such a major thing… because I definitely know some people that are stunted from it, that aren’t really moving on past it and are maybe still stuck. And in, particularly in my age group, maybe some people haven’t properly matured and they haven’t developed to the point that they need to develop to, to be able to go out into the world and cope.”

Testimony of Erin Love, S5
pupil at Barrhead High School & volunteer
Photography by Wes Kingston
Interview by Ellen McQuade
Transcription by Amanda Robb

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