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Derby College student, Will, discusses his experience of lockdown and how he’s adapted to changes in his usual routine, while also achieving a college qualification.

So… 2020. What a year it has been so far, it’s been a very scary and uncertain time for all of us since March 2020 when the UK went into lockdown. The experiences that I have faced during this challenging time have not been easy, but I have got through lockdown by keeping myself busy and doing a range of different activities to keep my mind occupied.

One thing that I have found difficult during lockdown is the lack of structure and routine to everyday life, therefore I decided to create my own routine by running every day, some days I ran up to 15k! As well as running, I continued to attend digital meetings on Microsoft Teams, therefore building my college lessons into my new routine.

One of the aspects about living with Autism is having that familiar routine and making sure you don’t give up, enforcing my own routine allowed me to maintain that important structure during a challenging time.

There were days that I found difficult and I kept saying to myself, “we are all in the same boat and we will get through this”, there were days that I had arguments with mum and dad because I was bored, and there were days during lockdown that my motivation completely sunk.

However, being proactive helped me clear my mind and cope with lockdown a lot better. Running and doing the stuff I wanted to do has kept me going through this challenging time, while also allocating time for myself.

I am a big Doctor Who fan, so during lockdown I spent some time attending to my Doctor Who figures, as well as studying for my BTEC Level 3 qualification in I.T, an achievement I am extremely proud of. One of my biggest worries was not being able to return to college and complete the rest of my qualification, however I adapted to online learning at home very quickly.

Staying at home and keeping busy was the key to getting through lockdown. Not only did a go running every day, I also helped my mum and dad with different jobs around the house, and some days I would spend binging Disney+!