Editor's Note: There is no 'new normal'


Deputy Editor Annabel Mulliner looks back on the lessons that both lockdown and Nouse taught her this year

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Image by Annabel Mulliner

By Annabel Mulliner

As if by magic, I’ve blinked and we’re suddenly over halfway through Lockdown 2.0. The world has kept turning, and the clock is ticking more conspicuously than ever on climate change, as Molli Tyldesley explores in Politics. Closer to home, the University is pushing through plans that will radically change our student experience at York – more on that in my News piece.

While lockdown has given me – like many others – ample reasons to curl up in despair, I thank my lucky stars that I have the privilege of editing The Weekly Nouse alongside the dream team that is Matt, Jenna, and Emily.

My year at Nouse has been a huge lesson in confidence. I joined university with very little direction, other than the unshakeable desire to leave my hometown, and quickly fell into a crisis. Without post-Uni plans, lacking self-belief, and feeling surprisingly homesick, I began to wonder if there was any point in me being here.

*Nouse *has helped me cultivate my ambitions and self-belief immeasurably, and more importantly, it has been a lifeline and distraction through what’s been the most difficult year that many of us have faced personally.

I’m in awe of, and am so grateful for, our new members who have joined our team without ever having met the rest of us face-to-face, and never having set foot in our office. If I’d had to join elections via a Zoom call with over 100 people that lasted over four hours, I certainly would have chickened out of getting involved.

If our new team can get as much out of Nouse during this pandemic as I did during normal times, then we’ve succeeded in our mission. I now look back on the prod weeks of last Autumn the way the protagonist of a low-budget zombie movie would look back on the ‘time before the plague’, but unlike the characters in most of those zombie movies, we know that better times are coming, and that right now, we still have each other.

Although it’s a difficult time to be optimistic, if there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s how to adapt and overcome. Over in Muse, Alice Manning explores how art teaches resilience; Kristina Wemyss explores how future gigs might overcome the hurdle of being Covid-secure.

Like me, you’re probably sick of hearing that we must, beyond adapting, get used to this ‘new normal’; the way we’re living right now is far from ‘normal’, nor will it ever be so. These are extraordinary times, and our need for human contact, that essential pint down at the Charles, not having to worry if your next meal out is strictly ‘legal’, isn’t going to go away.

So rather than getting used to it, I’ll carry on laughing through the Among Us socials, the at-home club nights, the still-ample amounts of banana bread. At Nouse, we’ll carry on writing to connect, to celebrate, to commiserate and so that we can look back on these ‘unprecedented times’ and be proud of what we achieved together.