Bronwyn Way, a student at Portsmouth College, feels like she’s living in Groundhog Day.
There’s a time in everybody’s life where they come across a piece of fiction and think, ‘Yeah, I’d love to live in that world’.
My grandmother wanted to delve deeper and travel amongst the great heroes of Middle Earth whilst reading The Hobbit in her boarding school library; my sister spent hours fantasising about running off with the fantastic boot-wearing Buffy and her Scooby gang in Sunnydale.
However, I sincerely doubt any of us watched Groundhog Day and thought, ‘A world where I’m stuck repeating the same day over and over again and the love of my life keeps forgetting she’s in love with me. Wow! That’s the world for me!’
Unfortunately that’s where Covid-19 has landed us.
Wake up, drink coffee, do work, play games, do more work, ran out of work, play games, watch netflix, sleep, wake up, drink coffee, do work – wait, ran out of work, play games. Talk briefly on the phone. Play games. Sleep. Drink coffee. Sleep. Oh dear, ran out of coffee. Sleep.
Everyday is the same few tasks, it’s reached a point where the highlights of my day are 9.30am, 1pm and 6 pm because it means it’s socially acceptable for me to make my next meal. Then I get to wash up the plates, which is genuinely exciting.
Easter holidays finally ended and I was more excited for college than I had been for Christmas this year, finally something to do. Something that made me feel as if this time wasn’t wasted.
The second I was given my first piece of work to do I rushed through it all, inhaling it like it was a hot delicious meal and I’d just left a hunger strike.
Once, I forgot about an essay I was meant to write about the Odyssey for college. I was so excited: not only did I have an online college course that morning but I had homework too. As soon as that thought entered my mind I knew my normal, angsty, teenage, non-Covid-affected version of me would be utterly ashamed by this behaviour. Nonetheless there I was, like Gollum, hoarding the pages of secondary sources and petting my collection of pastel coloured highlighters.
I decided to divide my time spent on it, only allowing myself to write a paragraph a day at the height of my boredom, but – like someone who had just started a new diet trying to give up chocolate – it didn’t last long. I shot through the essay in a couple of hours and had to resign myself to another six hours of boredom.
At 6pm, however, I decided to take a break from mind-numbing boredom and have a lovely romantic dinner – with myself. It was an apology dinner, to say sorry for rushing through my essay and not saving any of it for the next day. I accepted my apology, touched by my efforts. Even if boredom awaited me the next day, I had myself and at least if nothing else, I make good company.
Every task, every new morsel of change to my day is considered a blessing. I would say I’ve learnt the value of family, or how to be productive at home and develop my skills, or the proper way to revise.
However, I think a more honest recap of what I’ve learnt is that if you keep pressing forward when leaping off a roof in Assassin’s Creed you roll and don’t take damage. Also Bill Murray’s character Phil in Groundhog Day must be the most exciting person in the world to entertain himself on a loop – and I don’t understand how he survived without forgotten Odyssey essays to write.