A cathartic lockdown lamentation

An anonymous student tells us all about their regrets over hair cuts gone wrong, dissertation disasters and watching Friends, again…

Anonymous student

"If I don’t cathartically express them and cleanse my soul, then I don’t know what I might do. Maybe cry, for the millionth time?"INSTAGRAM/FRIENDS; INSTAGRAM/TWILIGHTSAGA; INSTAGRAM/THEHUNGERGAMES

I know – rather, I desperately need to know – that I am not in a minority when I say I have done a few things I regret over the past few months. And frankly, I can’t keep my regrets in anymore. If I don’t cathartically express them and cleanse my soul, then I don’t know what I might do. Maybe cry, for the millionth time?

1. Cutting my hair into an unrecognisable bob

"I blame Instagram, particularly Kaia Gerber"INSTAGRAM/KAIAGERBER

I blame Instagram, particularly Kaia Gerber, for this one. There she was, in all her supermodel glory, suspended in a high-fashion pose, looking at me – no, goading me – to cut my hair. The beautiful blonde-brown bob looked so effortless on her, so why wouldn’t it look effortless on me? I considered how she most likely didn’t even need to maintain it, how it probably just looked like that because it was so short. My long and, well, dead locks could use a chop, my mum said. So she proceeded to chop them herself. Safe to say, the result doesn’t look like Kaia Gerber. My face remains my face, but my frizzy curls have sprung into a perm-style mop on the top of my head without the added weight to keep them down. Great.

2. Deciding to write a dissertation on books I hadn’t actually read

A dissertation is supposed to be something you’re passionate about, right? Wrong. When I picked my degree, I didn’t exactly pick wisely. Reading books is a surprisingly difficult task when you really don’t enjoy reading. Alas, I traipsed over to my shelves, picked a random book and told my supervisor that, yes, I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to explore more by the author. It’s September and I’ve explored the bottom of a Nutella jar more thoroughly.

3. Not getting fit


Mountain View

Read More: Productively Procrastinating

The number of Deliveroos that I ordered last term was a bit ridiculous, and couldn’t even be justified by the ‘I can’t go out to the shops mum, it’s dangerous, please understand’ excuse. Admittedly, I wasn’t in the best shape, so thought I could use lockdown as an opportunity to transform myself. I even bought an exercise hula-hoop (this is the extent of my physical activity). After being used once before I decided it caused me too much pain, the hula-hoop is dusty, I have not moved off my bed for a very long time and ordering Deliveroo has become a way to help the economy. Win.

4. Spending too much on clothes that I haven’t worn once

I have a habit of ordering too many items of clothing, but I know I am not alone. Shops may well have closed, but the online stores remained absolutely in business. Who would I be if I didn’t support my favourite clothing shops? Wasn’t it my duty? Well, I now have enough clothes to dress my entire street, while I haven’t changed out of the same t-shirt and sweatpants for six months (before you judge, I have washed them a couple of times). Make it make sense?

5. Watching Friends, again

"So, I watched Friends again, and the jokes weren’t even funny this time around"instagram/friends

Did I really have nothing better to do than watch a series I have watched ten times before and can recite word-for-word? No, I actually didn’t. So, I watched Friends again, and the jokes weren’t even funny this time around. This is not the only repeat-offence TV watching that emerged from lockdown: I re-watched all of the Twilight films, and all of the Hunger Games films. I can’t say for sure why I did what I did. Maybe I felt like my 13-year-old self would cope more effectively during the pandemic than my 21-year-old self? An intake of Peeta Mellark and Jacob Black a day keeps the virus away? One thing’s for certain though: I cannot even begin to attempt justifying why I decided to watch The Vampire Diaries all the way through, again. EVERY. SEASON.

There you have it, my honest admissions, in the hope that they might make those like me, those that yearn for teenage years gone by, feel a little less alone. You can be absolutely certain that when it comes to my Cambridge return and the inevitable “what did you do over lockdown” showdown, these secrets will not be revealed. Only to you, reader.