Today’s post is written by Carnsight Communications’ newest team member, Megan. Megan joined us recently and will be completing an internship at Carnsight. Today she talks about her experiences with being on a placement year during the Covid-19 pandemic and how she has prioritised her mental and physical health during these difficult times.
My one blessing in 2020, and the one decision I will never regret making is deciding to take a placement year during the pandemic. It wasn’t easy and during the planning and searching stages, it felt at times that it wasn’t worth it. Covid flipped everything upside down and original plans of spending the year abroad were thrown out the window. However, since I live at home and commute every day, the uncertainty of studying online, in person or being locked down again wasn’t an option for me; I knew I would struggle.
I made it a priority to find an internship at any cost – I didn’t mind if it was remote, or on-site, or even based in another country, I just needed anything to secure my placement year. And then I found Carnsight through a family friend and it was the solution to my problems! I knew I would have an internship for this academic year and there was suddenly a lot less pressure to figure everything out. I also secured a second part-time placement through a friend which fitted perfectly with the hours at Carnsight and I was so ready for the first few months of the academic year.
If university had been taking place in person rather than virtually, the decision between study and placement year would have been a little more difficult to make. Considering the difficulties this year has brought and the importance of coping with it all in the healthiest way possible, the social aspect of uni would have been an appreciated distraction and days spent on campus would have provided a refreshing change of scenery. However, uni work doesn’t stop at uni. There are always countless extra study hours and coursework to think about day and night; studying remotely would provide no space to unwind as it’s always there, whether in front of me or at the back of my mind.
It has been an adjustment working from home. There are so many distractions and sometimes the comfort of being in your own house and having all things accessible at all times decreases productivity. However, it has brought variety and a welcomed routine to my weeks and I have already learned so much – including how to adapt to whatever life throws this way. The alternative of being stuck at home with only uni lectures and coursework to do 24/7 would have had a greater negative effect on my mental and emotional state than is necessary during these times.
It is so important during all the confusion to make time for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone, so it is important to dig deep and figure out the best and healthiest ways to encourage productivity. So now, although I am still working from home the majority of the week, I feel that at 6pm once I have finished the work for the day I am able to switch my mind off and take time for myself, knowing I don’t have to think about it until the next day.
In these uncertain times I have one certainty. Tomorrow I will get up and work and when the day is done I can unwind and recharge ready for what the next day will bring. Although it’s not exactly the way I pictured my placement year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities so far and look forward to what’s in store for the coming months. Taking a placement year during the pandemic has been a saving grace amongst the chaos.
Thanks Megan! It’s brilliant to have you with us.