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This week marked one year since the country first went into lockdown as coronavirus cases continued to rise. In time that has since passed, people have essentially transformed into perfect homebodies, by swapping nights out for nights in.
Because of the seismic change, many people are beginning to feel like they have aged 10 years during lockdown. No, we're not talking about grey hairs or wrinkles, we are talking about a more mature state of mind where a bar crawl simply sounds rather exhausting.
Before the pandemic, Jasmine Brown, 27, spent her free days in between working in PR, 'drinking and partying a lot' like a lot of women in their twenties.
I was a heavier partier before lockdown, not awful though. There's nothing wrong being in your twenties and going out and partying," she says.
Jasmine says the go-to place for her and her pals to socialise was at pubs and bars and she would often go out three or four times a week.
Nonetheless, she notes that lockdown has given her a sense of maturity and has "propelled me into a more adult way of doing things".
"I don't feel like I wanna drink anymore because I don't want a hangover anymore which I've realised now that we've had a break.
"I don't even think I could physically do a bar crawl anymore without being really ill, really hungover or falling asleep. My bedtime is now so much earlier which makes me sound so old," she laughs.
"Watching Netflix at home is more appealing."
Jasmine is not alone. She says lots of her friends who are in the same age group feel like they have gone through a 'transition' and that this change was quickened by the onset of lockdown.
"I've noticed that me and my friends have all sort of gone through a weird transition of where we've picked up other ways of keeping busy and I think going out and drinking was how we saw each other and kept busy before lockdown. I don't think I wanna go back."
"I feel like I've transitioned a lot earlier than if lockdown hadn't happened," she says. "It's not a bad thing because I don't think I wanna go back. I still want to be social and go out and every now and then but it's a whole different way I'll do it now.
"I still would have been going out and partying and clubbing all the time for at least the next two years if lockdown hadn't happened."
Jasmine now has a new career making handmade jewellery, new craft making hobbies and a new outlook. And as the country prepares to open up again, with all restrictions set to be lifted on 21st June, Jasmine and her friends are thinking about what their social lives will look like after the 'transition' in lockdown. Pub gardens are still on the to-do list, but with more nights in also on the cards.
"We don't want to go somewhere that is ridiculously crowded like a club, I think I'd love to do simple dinner parties with my friends, Netflix nights in or even just park days. It doesn't have to be a 'night' anymore. I quite enjoy having my evenings."
Cheshire-based Alexandria Mills, who is part of the senior management team in a restaurant, also feels she has gained a new sense of maturity in lockdown.
The 24-year-old said: "Pre-lockdown I would say that I was quite a social butterfly. I loved going out for food with my friends and family. Always hated the idea of missing a night out so enjoyed going to bars and clubs. I also love music so would often go to gigs and look for festivals to go to."
Lockdown has made her adjust to a 'more passive lifestyle' now that all the sources of fun and entertainment have been stripped away by the pandemic. "I have adopted new forms of exercise, focused on healthy eating and altering my sleeping habits. I have taken a more active role in the house, cleaning and cooking, it has certainly given me a more mature vibe," she explains.
Alexandria feels she has missed out on key moments of freedom in her twenties, with Covid halting holidays in particular being one of the reasons she feels like this.
"I can completely relate to missing the social aspects of life.
"During your twenties they say these are some of the main years where you meet friends for life and socially connect with new contacts. I do wonder how much the pandemic has affected this and whether I've lost out from this lack of social connection."
Could the days of going out simply for the sake of it be over? This is something Alexandria questions as she plans to attend some upcoming post-lockdown birthday celebrations.
"I think it will be difficult to find a balance between the social attitudes pre-pandemic and maintaining new routines adopted over the past year."
"Going out, meeting friends for dinner and going for drinks is great but it also doesn't help with keeping up my new health routine so this does create some anxiety."
Maturity comes with age and similar to Jasmine, Alexandria also feels there is a notable difference between ageing and maturing. "For me, ageing means you are struggling to do the things you once could easily do.
"Maturing is different as you aren't necessarily unable to do something, you just approach certain situations in a more calculated and thought out manner."
"I believe I have matured and I feel better about myself than pre-pandemic as it has given me the time to focus on aspects of life that before I would usually disregard or not push to one side due to lack of time.
"Nevertheless, I am certainly looking forward to reconnecting with people of my age again and enjoying the rest of my 20s!"
Floss Knight, Psychotherapist and Founding Director of UK Therapy Guide says: "I believe the lockdown and all that has been taken away has speeded up life experiences by stripping away many of the things we've taken for granted, like freedom, friends, relationships, holidays and live stimulation.
"Because things have slowed down or stopped, it's given everyone time to reflect on the good and bad, which is a process that comes with age. Maturity comes from reflection and moving out of spontaneity and impulse.
"It comes as little surprise that many young women feel like they have aged in just one year of lockdown as a result; lockdown has fast-forwarded the clock for many."
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