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Junior Critical Essay

We asked our 4th and 5th Form students to ponder the question To what extent have the last few months of ‘quarantine’ and ‘social isolation’ changed people’s attachment to the world. The responses have been both insightful and poignant.

The breadth of entries and the quality of their content made the judging a difficult task but it was Kai L’s essay that made a real impact. Here is an extract from his winning entry:

“Nostalgia (from the Greek word Nostos meaning homecoming and Algos meaning pain) has grown from its original definition of the ’feeling of homesickness that a person experiences when they’re separated from family/friends’ to a broader meaning of a ‘sentimental longing for one’s past’. This clear-cut emotion is the one that we have revisited the most during the COVID-19 outbreak but what necessarily does this, as human beings, achieve? The two main emotions that trigger us to retrace our steps in the outside world are loneliness and grief…”

Our congratulations to all those who entered this competition, sharing with us their true thoughts and feelings. Judging by the following comments, it was an intellectually stimulating competition too:  

“I learnt from writing this essay that subconscious actions that we perform everyday have had to change as a result of Covid-19 e.g. squeezing into a lift full of people simply isn’t viable anymore.” Rory P

“I found this essay competition to be a great outlet to discuss the situation in America and their handling of the COVID pandemic, whilst also making myself more aware of my own surroundings.”

Seamus Y

“I pursued the idea of Nostalgia to analyse as personally I wanted to know the more philosophical perspective of what the pandemic has taken from us and moreover, what memories have been lost or created by us.”

Kai L