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Sunny days and lockdown lifting

Since my last blog, the weather has dramatically changed from snow to sun and blue skies! I think it’s fair to say we are all very much enjoying the sun and the glimpse of what Summer might entail. The recent announcement of lockdown easing has definitely provided a sense of hope for us all, despite the inevitable uncertainty involved.

It’s been a long and dark winter, so being able to get outside more and enjoy the blue skies has been so great - it really brightens Manchester and makes it feel like a different place. I particularly enjoy walking to my local parks, especially Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens in Didsbury.

I’m extremely excited for what’s to come. The efficiency of our vaccine rollout and its uptake is so impressive – especially comparing this to other nearby countries and ones further away, such as Australia who I imagine are seeing less immediate need for its uptake, considering they have done so well to suppress the virus. Nonetheless, I am grateful for this providing much-needed hope for the UK and am optimistic about a somewhat ‘normal’ summer and encouraging things to come.

As an extrovert, I’ve found lockdown really difficult and get my energy from being around and meeting new people as well as seeing a variety of friends. Although I am lucky to live with a great group of housemates, I am definitely looking forward to being able to get out more and socialise with others too. What I have found interesting is the amount of anxiety surrounded by the lifting of lockdown, and not so much physical or health-related concerns but social anxieties. This is especially apparent on Twitter, where I have witnessed a number of tweets expressing concern over going back to normality or self-confessed introverts struggling with the prospect of pressures to socialise and be around lots of people again. However, I think the last year has highlighted volatility in a number of aspects of life and prioritising health in a number of ways, so perhaps there may be a more sensitive approach towards respecting other’s social boundaries, or at least being more self-aware.

I’m currently doing a reflective assignment for my Consultancy Project module, which has led us to look more into extraversion and introversion; one of the traits in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). We used which is based on the MBTI and I’ve actually found it really interesting to test on my housemates and friends too. So far, it seems to have been fairly accurate, and I recommend anyone take the test to find out a bit more about your personality in regard to lots of different aspects, including career pathways, how you deal with pressure or even around friendships. It’s always useful to find out more about how to leverage your strengths and maybe unlock insights you weren’t fully aware of or explain why you dealt with something the way you did previously. It’s going to be a busy few months of final semester of university but things are looking up and I’m looking forward to longer and warmer days to come!