By Rhianna Hurren-Myers, Deputy Editor in Chief of The Collective Magazine
And just like that, life returned to normal. Shops opened their doors with “we’ve missed you” signage adorning their front windows. I was finally able to quench my Nandos craving. See my grandparents. Take a road trip. God forbid, go on holiday.
It was as if COVID-19 had been nothing but a decadent, dystopian nightmare.
Only, strangely, I don’t really feel like popping down to the local pub anymore. My head is still in March, at 10pm on the quiet suburban streets of Cardiff, where I was bundled into the back of my parents car with as many belongings as we could fit. There was no pause to take it all in and say a proper goodbye to undergraduate life. I will admit that I feel robbed, but trying to figure out what I have been robbed of is much harder to put my finger on.
In many ways, I’ve had one of the best years of my life. Despite everything, I got a first-class grade in every single one of my contributing university modules. I was accepted into postgraduate study on a subject I am so passionate and excited about. I turned 21. Albeit a quieter affair than I had originally imagined, my lockdown milestone made me appreciate birthdays in a totally unique, non-consumptive way. My sister and I launched a graphic illustration business to hone our artistic skills – although she is far better at Adobe Illustrator than I am! I finally had an opportunity to rediscover the piano, a skill of mine that had become totally neglected in the three years I’d been at university.
Perhaps best of all, I stumbled upon Millie’s creative vision for a student publication and together we launched this magazine.
To you, the Collective Magazine is a space for young people and students to grow their creative portfolios, but to us, it is so much more.
Since July, this magazine swept us up in a whirlwind of logos and colour schemes, mission statements and website design. Millie and I witnessed first-hand the creative talent of our generation as we sifted through over 60 job applications to join our founding team. Our team of two has now grown to over twenty hard-working, ambitious and brilliant individuals that continue to inspire us with their passion for their role every day. Our section editors, social media managers, web designers and illustrators continuously go above and beyond and, truly, this magazine owes so much to all of them.
Nevertheless, I still can’t get over the speed with which the coronavirus changed the course of our entire lives earlier this year. I don’t know a single person in any generation who hasn’t been negatively affected by this pandemic – mentally, physically or spiritually.
But particularly to the GCSE, BTEC and A-Level students who coped with the uncertainty and the betrayal when results day came around. To all the university students who held their head high and finished the term from the comfort of their childhood bedrooms. To the 2020 graduates who are still struggling to comprehend the full extent of what we’ve achieved this year. I’m raising my glass to all of you. Cheers to the future – whatever it holds. Coronavirus may have ruined our 2020, but it won’t ruin our lives. As my dad likes to frequently remind me – the best is yet to come.