Living in Lockdown: Key findings from week 3
As the nation enters week seven of lockdown, our Living in Lockdown panel of 16-25 year old’s enters week three of our unique insight project. And, this week we’ve been exploring the impact that the many limitations on life right now are having on young people’s mental wellbeing and motivation.
Despite getting used to a situation that’s not of their choosing, some of our panel can see positives emerging from lockdown, like the benefit of extra family time and extra rest. While a few individuals, especially those with disabilities, enjoy the fact that can work on assignments from home without having to physically travel to university.
“I’m just getting on with it! I have so much university work to do I don’t have time for anything else. I can’t believe people who say they’re bored.”
“Lockdown as such does not really impact on me, I don't socialise much and am happiest when it is just me and my partner.”
“I enjoy spending time at home now.”
“It has given me and my family more time together and I have had more rest in the last few months than I have been able to get in years.”
For the majority of our panellists however, a general air of negativity prevails. Feelings of frustration and restlessness have increased for almost two thirds since last week, with anxiety and stress also on the rise.
These emotions are exacerbated by:
- A lack of support for work and study
- Missing family and friends
- Uncertainty about what will happen next
- Feeling less healthy and inspired
- Feeling less community spirited
“I’m stressed with uni work and I’m missing my family a lot.”
“I'm starting to get fed up of doing the same thing everyday.”
“Completely de-motivated to complete uni assignments for deadlines.”
“I’m anxious in case they lift lockdown too soon and we hit a second peak of cases.”
A matter of motivation
One of the most interesting facts to emerge from this week’s survey is the fact that despite having arguably a much slower pace of life and more time on their hands than ever before the majority of panellists are struggling to motivate themselves to work or study from home.
Being distracted by household members and activities is the main reason for this, together with a lack of urgency due to the fact that there are no exams and no knowledge as to when colleges/universities will re-open. There are of course some panellists with naturally higher motivation levels, who find having set routines and a genuine love of learning is helping them to remain focused during this time.
“Got all the time in the world yet no motivation to do work.”
“I want to study, I want to learn new things, so it is easy - Do it!”
“I've gotten myself into a routine. As long as I'm keeping busy, I can stick with it.”
“It’s hard when I’m surrounded by the noise of people in the house and the exams don’t seem so real anymore.”
“Theres too many distractions at home and whats the point of studying now ... there's no exams and uni will probably get closed again next year.”
Life after lockdown
We consider the impact current emotions may have on the way we live and work in the future.
Online learning: Distracting living arrangements combined with a lack of structure, resources and no interaction with peers or tutors has led to reduced concentration, motivation and urgency for our 16-25-year-olds. Looking ahead, this highlights the importance of personal contact in creating motivation and inspiration, which calls into question the role online learning will play in the future.
Social closeness: Our panellists longingly hark back to what life was like a few short weeks ago and are keen to return to life as it was then.
Most anticipated activities are:
- Seeing friends and family
- Returning to hobbies such as the gym, hiking and photography
- Eating out
For all, the over-riding sentiment is still a feeling of increased anxiety, restlessness and frustration at the lack of certainty as to what will happen next. But, as the news changes each day, so could our panels opinion. And, we’ll keep you updated with the latest developments and hot topics each week. To ask the panel a question or discover more about our research please contact Rachel Ditchfield (email@example.com).
In 2020, a lot has changed for all of us. And there’s a group of 16-25 year olds who are particularly concerned about university, training, or developing their career. At SMRS, we can’t make PPE. But we do excel in connecting and communicating with people. So, to do our bit, we’ve created Living in Lockdown – a research project focused on an online community of 16-25 year olds who are sharing their thoughts each week. We’re helping to connect, reassure, and support them through discussions, Q&As, webinars and advice. You can find all the weekly findings here.