I’m sat working at my coffee table right now surrounded by half unpacked bags from moving back to Beverley this week. Work has been a blessing at this unsure time. I am very conscious of how lucky I have been to be able to continue to work from home; and that I have had something normal to do for 7 hours a day. GBA were lucky enough to be fully set up to work from home the week before lockdown which allowed me the opportunity to move back to my parents’ house in Derby after 4 years of living on my own. This is something that I am very thankful for (not sure my dad would say the same after I took over his home office in a matter of hours). As a family we have been looking forward to our weekly Saturday night takeaways where we all get to relax and nobody has to cook tea, followed by competitive games nights which have consisted of everything from Monopoly to Virtual crazy golf – although after 4 games my mum still doesn’t understand the controls. Whilst I will miss them and our Saturday nights I am excited to be back in Beverley and to be heading back to work in the office from the start of next week.

I am grateful for this time that has been given to me and my family to become closer and spend invaluable time together in a period of time which has been mentally challenging. With restrictions easing week upon week I am now glad that whilst moving back to Beverley with my partner, we will still be able to go back to my parents’ house at weekends to visit them. I feel like we have all adjusted to social distancing so easily and going back to ‘normal’ will definitely take some getting used to.

I have found comfort in the simplest things during this strange period of time. Discovering new walks around my parents village and exchanging smiles between strangers brightens up my days. I have learnt to enjoy a slower pace of life instead of jumping on trains every weekend and whilst I have missed seeing my partner and my friends at weekends it has led to some great quizzes during the week. This has been lovely as people who I normally only get to see a couple of times a year I have now been seeing every week on Zoom. A trip to the local butchers or supermarket is now the new version of going out out and the only reasonable excuse for me to not wear comfortable clothes 24/7. Whilst lockdown hasn’t all been easy it has given me a chance to reflect on what is almost a year that I have been working at GBA.

I am so thankful for my time working at GBA and I am looking forward to continuing this for another year before I return to studying. I have been exposed to all aspects that come with an architectural office. Not only have my skills developed but I have learnt so much which will be invaluable throughout my career. I have been able to work on a variety of projects and submitting that first planning application is something that I will always remember. Throughout my year working for GBA I have grown in both confidence and skill. I am so grateful for my experience and I am now excited for what the future may hold beyond studying.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions I have now been able to move back to Beverley and go back to working in the office at the beginning of next week. Graham has put measures in place which allows me to do this safely without worry. After 3 and a half months of working remotely I am looking forward to being able to go back out on site visits and attend socially distanced client meetings and I feel that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am now excited to be on the search for a house for me and my partner to rent in Beverley for the rest of the duration of my contract with GBA. We think we may have found one so fingers crossed it all goes through smoothly.

Finally, if someone had told me six months ago that the way everybody goes about their daily lives was going to change and that we’d be in the midst of a global pandemic I’d have laughed and said those are things you only read about in history books. But it seems now that this time of our lives will never be forgotten. I hope that this time has allowed people to reflect as I have and that we will all be living in a kinder world as a result.