Being a student during COVID-19
I'm pretty sure if you asked me last March if in a year's time we would have had three lockdowns, I would've thought you were being ridiculous. I know that when this pandemic hit during my second year of university, I didn't think it would something that would last during my third year too. Fast forward to 2021, I'm still studying from home and haven't even gone back to my university campus since last March, I'm getting used to the idea that there's a strong chance that our year will be another that graduates from home.
After three lockdowns in the UK, I've pretty much adjusted and adapted to this strange and weird reality.... almost. Of course I have moments where I feel stuck and consumed from constantly being at home - it's given so much more time which is something I'm sure some of us don't know what to do with. Coming from a creative/ student perspective, I have moments where I feel limited by so many different aspects.
I'm sure many of you know how hand-ons a creative subject can be, which is why in the first lockdown when we had to change our current projects so suddenly, I felt unsure in the work I was creating and the direction it was going as times. We went from having such easy access to various materials, workshops and resources and even just the library to having none of that at all (something that I know has a struggle for so many students across the UK, despite what subject you're studying.) Having that pressure of deadlines and feeling your work might not be up to standard, purely because certain circumstances (such as struggles at home, the impact that the pandemic has had your mental health and the loss of loved ones), has made progression within and outside of university so much harder, especially when it comes to figuring what happens after university.
I went from being quite excited to graduate and get myself into the industry to feeling slightly nervous about the idea of graduating. I did foundation year, so for me it meant that I saw a lot my friends (as well just students in general) graduate without having any form of celebration/ recognition for the all the hard work that they put in the past few years; to either feeling lost on what the next steps are or trying their best to job hunt.
However despite having these stressful thoughts, I am grateful for so many things being a student and being at home . For example, actually managing to find ways to stay during this lockdown, which is something I really struggled with during the first lockdown. I am grateful for being around family and having been able to see friends too (even if it was from a brief period of time), especially after spending the first lockdown by myself to focus on university work. Being grateful and reminding myself of what I have around me and been able to do during lockdown, has been a great way to move forward.
Although I've had moments of doubts as a creative, social media has been such a great way to find more opportunities and connect with so many other creative out there - its the question of not getting too consumed by it.
Mathushaa Sagthidas also known as @mathuxphotos across social media. Mathushaa is a photographer with a strong interest in fine art, contemporary fashion and styling, based in London Mathushaa developed these skills further studying fashion promotion at Ravensbourne University London and still is studying fine art photography at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL. Mathushaa’s work is often examines her identity - Tamil Eelam ethnicity and British nationality, which is a pivotal part of her work. This complex cultural identity is often reflected through traditions, history and strongly by fashion photography.