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The world during COVID-19: as told by our students

10 Jul 2020

Moments in Time

In turbulent times it’s easy to get caught up in the moment; we often forget to take a moment to pause, record and reflect.

For the past ten weeks, ACT public school students and community members have been recording their thoughts, feelings and experiences through the Moments in Time initiative External Link.

Director General of the Education Directorate, Ms Katy Haire, championed the initiative. She chose the weekly writing prompts for students and even provided her own diary entry.

“I loved history when I was at school and university, and one of the things that I loved the most was getting a glimpse into what the world was like at different times. Thinking about how people in the future will understand what we are living through now has made me think that keeping a journal would be a useful thing to do. I like to think that contemporaneous accounts of what is happening to us will help people understand and learn from what we are experiencing.” Ms Haire said.

The initiative encouraged students to find their voice and play an active role in recording moments in history. There was also a new guest writer each week, with inspiring contributions from writer Jackie French, former Canberra Raider Alan Tongue, Her Excellency Ms Linda Hurley and more.

All ACT public school students were invited to take part in the initiative, with the creative responses ranging from a summary of their day, a piece of poetry, dot points or stream of consciousness writing.

The students explored and expressed a diverse array of thoughts, feelings and experiences throughout the series. There were some common themes, both positive and negative, from cherishing extra time spent with family, to feelings of disappointment for having taken for granted opportunities in the past.

The following quotes are excerpts of students’ journal submissions, providing an accurate, honest and inspiring account of what it’s like to be a young person in 2020.

Amy, 10

"Right now I and many have to stay at home to keep more vulnerable people safe."

"I just have one request, can we just all be kind to each other because we are all in this together."

Tara, 14

"That's another nice thing about the confinement; suddenly my parents are so much more willing to do fun stuff with me. It's not even because they have more time- if anything they have less- something's just changed, and I'm happy about it."

James, 10

"Something small I have noticed is I want to bake a LOT more as I love baking."

Zachary, 10

"When we are at home we can get closer with our brothers and sisters and have more family time."

Jess, 16

"What I miss most? Many things. In actual fact I miss things I’ve never done. Not necessarily the doing part, but the option that I always took for granted."

Lily, 12

"I love having chickens because when I’m sad or need help I just cuddle with my chickens."

LC, 9

"I miss going to the playground. Because the playground is fun and exciting."

Froud Family

"I’ve got Dad for PE!"

Jaz, 17

"However tough and stressful life during quarantine was at times, I am grateful for the perspective it gave me going back into everyday life and hope it has shown others the benefits of taking time for themselves."

Sofia, 10

"Think about the opportunities that we are being offered. More time for family bonding. More time for thinking. More time for reading. More time for playing. More time for being truly alive, while still staying at home. Be creative, and use this time wisely. We might never get a possibility like this again."