Pandemic life: "one more shop on the high street with boarded up windows.

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst has been writing for us about pandemic life since lockdown began back in March last year.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 6:10 am
Jenny Bathurst

The pandemic robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. But she ended up with three As and is now studying journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Here is her latest contribution.

"Growing up, my dream career choice seemed to change every week. Some of the most memorable on the list include fashion designer, CBeebies presenter and artist – all of which now sound like my worst nightmare. With my head buried in a book 24/7, I surprisingly never considered a job as a writer or journalist but instead opted for careers that I had read or watched movies about that looked like they’d be fun - no matter whether I was particularly skilled in them or not. The only knowledge of clothes I would be able to bring to a fashion range now would be restricted to just pyjama sets and baggy jumpers that I seem to find myself in far too often.

"My passion for journalism is not something that I hide, and when asked about why it’s a path I want to follow I am certainly not short of reasons. I am grateful that although the pandemic may have confined my university degree to the online world, journalism and the news is not something that will ever be put on hold. However, this is of course not the case for many individuals around the globe. When the news is released that a company is letting go of however-many-thousand employees due to the coronavirus crisis, we see the statistic but not the individuals impacted. There is only so much of an insight we can gain into the lives and attitudes of others but what we can be sure of is that for some, losing a career for can be absolutely detrimental.

"Even as lockdown restrictions begin to ease the news notifications of bankrupt companies and job losses in the thousands continue to light up my phone screen, and I ache for those who received the same news but are directly affected. We rarely hear from those who have had their source of income stripped away in this fashion, but simply notice one more shop on the high street with closed doors and boarded up windows.

"As I step into the journalism industry, one of my highest priorities is giving a voice to the voiceless. I know it’s a cliché and even typing that made me cringe slightly, but we all have a natural curiosity and a hunger for discovering fascinating and even the most shocking stories. I constantly bore friends and family with ridiculous ‘would you rather’ scenarios and hypothetical situations because I love to get an insight into people’s minds and find out how their opinions differ to mine. I believe everyone has a story and the opportunity to hear and document them is something I anticipate greatly.

"This week I decided to set up an Instagram account dedicated entirely to sharing news stories and my own work. Although it is not a dream of mine to ever become ‘famous’, I am passionate about getting my work seen, and if this means a shameless plug in this article then so be it. If you would like to keep updated on what I’m doing and sharing, you can find me on Instagram: @jennybathurstjournalism."