An Open Letter To Pre-Corona Me

Hi you,

It’s me. You probably don’t know me all that well yet but give it 7 weeks – you will (you’ll most likely wish you didn’t, but by then it will be too late). Coronavirus is also probably something that you’re joking about still: just you wait until news outlets are having to make a concerted effort to find anything else worth reporting.

Do you remember that party you were supposed to go to? The one back in March, which you bought a bottle of wine for, borrowed your housemate’s top for? The one you bailed on at the last moment because the heating had just come one and your bed looked irresistible? Yep, that one. Well, you should have gone because now who knows when you’ll get the chance to go to a party that’s not held over Zoom, one where the only reason you can’t hear what someone is saying is because the music is too deliciously loud – not because the Wi-Fi is breaking up.

Don’t feel guilty about spending too much on coffee. In fact, when this is over, I dare you to spend a whole afternoon in Whitechurch. Start off with coffee and stay until it’s time for cocktails. Don’t rush – Billy B is only just across the road and everyone knows that a tipsy library sesh is the best and most productive kind (if only because time definitely passes differently when you’ve been drinking) – and multiple coffees will only have made that better.

It’s true that a good night’s sleep is better than any night-out will ever be – even lockdown you would agree. But, even with that knowledge, stay until the pub quiz ends! It’s a ten-minute walk home and leaving twenty minutes earlier really won’t make a difference. You might have training the next morning, but that’s what coffee is for, and you can have an early night tomorrow.

Speaking of training – God, you’ll miss it! Whoever would have known that the thought of not having to wake up at 5:45 would bring tears to your eyes – and I’m not talking about tears of joy? All those times you sat in MC shivering despite the mocha you’d just downed wondering why you’d chosen this sport again, those times when the bar just felt too heavy to lift, when you wished you could just have a week off, just once! You’ll realise how lucky you were now that the gyms are closed, and you have to motivate yourself to exercise alone.

On the plus side, being home is nice. You’ll be grateful, at first. It’s a relief not to have to come down every morning ready to tear your hair out at the sight of the drying rack or be woken up at 2am to raucous shouting in the hallway. The garden is honestly the one thing which will keep you sane, and try not to get too annoyed when you rediscover mum’s irritating habit of trying to parent you despite knowing that you get along just fine for the majority of the year when you’re at uni.

Take all opportunities you still have to see friends, to walk along the river, to go to jazz nights and browse the charity shops because right now all that is a distant memory. And any essays you could finish before a holiday, do – because working at home without books or access to a library is suddenly the most demoralising thing that has ever happened to you.

Take it easy – but don’t take it for granted!

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