MY STUDENT DIARY

‘If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere’ writes Tipperary student Kaci Kerwick

Kaci Kerwick

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Kaci Kerwick

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My Student Diary: Kaci Kerwick describes life as a student in Tipperary during Covid-19

This week I have to admit I struggled to stay focused when doing my school work. I found myself zoning out and day-dreaming constantly, making it impossible to get work done.

I did get a lot of it done but I found I was getting annoyed at myself for not getting all my work completed. It really took me until the end of the week to realise that it is okay to have a bad week or a completely unproductive day.

We are stuck inside with a very repetitive routine so it is normal to get fed up and bored of dragging ourselves out of bed everyday to do the same as the day before.

This global pandemic has highlighted the kindness of so many people, from the frontline workers risking their lives everyday to the local community members running to the shop for their elderly neighbour. But it is time to start being kind to ourselves too.

This may sound so basic but you would be surprised how many times a week we put ourselves down. Whether it’s for eating too much chocolate or like me not getting work done. So please be kind to yourself, it is the only way we’ll all get through this.

A topic I've thought a lot about this week is fast fashion. Fast fashion is defined as ‘cheaply produced, poorly constructed clothing which copies the latest catwalk styles, pumped quickly through stores to maximise on current trends’.

Fast fashion brands include many high street stores and online clothing retailers. I was always aware of fast fashion but never really took the time as such to look into it. However, that changed this week when I was made aware of the horrible truth of it. Workers employed in fast fashion are forced to endure shocking conditions.

They are exposed to chemicals that are so dangerous to their health. As well as that, they work extremely long hours with very little pay in return. In some cases, children are expected to hand-pick the cotton used to make the jumper you are buying for €7. It also has awful effects on the environment; fast fashion is second to oil as the world's largest polluter.

So many of these workers are forced to work through this pandemic in small cramped areas which really puts their health at risk even more.

I am not saying that you should never again buy fast fashion clothing, but the next time you’re tempted to spend €100 on clothes, consider the labour that went into them.

Last Thursday marked poetry day Ireland. Poetry is such a ray of light in times of darkness and I'm sure many people are turning to it in these difficult times.

A few weeks ago, Mam came to me with a lovely Séamus Heaney quote she found and obsessed over it for a week.

A few weeks later Leo Varadkar actually used it in one of his speeches, can you imagine her excitement.

I do think it is very appropriate for these uncertain times and so to mark Poetry Day Ireland, the quote is as follows ‘If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere’.