It’s been nearly three months since the UK went into lockdown and with restrictions slowly lifting we can start to think about how life will look after covid-19. Research has shown that young people aged 16-25 are experiencing increased levels of anxiety as a result of the crisis and feel their career prospects have been damaged. It’s important now more than ever that we invest in young people and support them into employment.

We spoke to one of our current learners – Miguel Lourenco – and asked him how he’s been coping with lockdown and his tips for getting through these challenging times.

What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

I would like to become an IT Professional in IT Support / Infrastructure, and if I’m feeling really passionate, I would like to become a cyber security professional and make the use of technology that bit safer!


What have been the biggest challenges during lockdown?

I’d say the biggest challenge during lockdown would be adapting to the the new standards put in place and keeping productive. The new standards meant I had to queue outside shops, which as an introvert often made me feel very anxious, as it meant having to be around more humans for a prolonged period of time.

As for productivity, I found it very hard to keep myself busy when my phone and computers were shouting “NETFLIX and GAMEEEEEE!!!!”. I made sure to set myself bite-sized goals and tracked when I failed to meet these targets. When I felt I had hit my goals I rewarded myself with some Netflix time or a gaming session.

Sleep was also a big difficulty for me during lockdown. I spent many nights wondering what I wanted to do for tomorrow, as well as thinking about the past.


Are there any positives you’ve experienced as a result of lockdown?

As a result of lockdown my technological abilities have been tested, so I have discovered new and interesting problems that people face when using technology.

Additionally, everything moved online, which made me feel 10-times more comfortable as the world of the internet is my speciality, so I picked up on some awesome new opportunities to occupy myself with.


What has helped you through the experience?

Whether you are face-timing a friend or doing something productive, keeping yourself active physically and mentally is my number one tip for being happy during this hard time!

I personally learned how to exercise at home and I now have my own workout to keep the calories off, or at the very least keep my physique in check.

I am also volunteering to help City Gateway with a new online project they are working on. I can’t say much at the moment but let’s say the purpose of it is to help support learners become better today than they were yesterday. I am providing feedback and recommendations from a learners perspective to make sure the project is as effective as possible.


What are you looking forward to the most when lockdown restrictions are lifted?

I am looking forward to being able to go back to normal education, travelling around London and get discounted clothes!!!!


What would be your message to anyone in a similar position to you?

If you are also a tech enthusiast or want to get into tech, I suggest using the following tools to increase your level of tech-know-how:

For gaming PCs and general tech – Linus Tech Tips

Random Technology Summarised – Tech Quickie

Gaming PCs – Bit Wit

Doing recon on your industry or job – Prospect


And to finish, I would like to say that if you have something you aspire to do or become, go for it, with your motivation, enthusiasm and love!