This article is one in a series of stories featuring real experiences, thoughts and feelings from young people living in Cardiff during lockdown. To see the other stories, please click here. This article was written for the campaign by Cali Eastwick-Field, a 20-year old Cardiff university student.
My lockdown experience was certainly unusual.
After arriving at home for the summer I was keen to start work in some way or another, but this was a more difficult task than I expected with understandable restrictions. I am aiming to do a Master’s in Environmental Management but I am a Media student so it’s safe to say I am under qualified for any job concerning environmentalism which made the task a little more tricky.
I persisted and after sending my CV off to ten or so agencies, I landed a very strange unpaid internship as an ecologist assistant. I had no idea what to expect, but I was told that I would be spending my time outside for the whole of the internship (this made me a bit confused). Though, I thought that an internship during 2020 would look very nice on my CV so I was grateful.
I found myself leaving for work at 9pm in the evening or 2am in the morning. You may ask what in the world was I doing at these times? Well in fact, I was looking at bats (and the odd newt here or there).
I became very accustomed to my strange routine though I cannot say the same for my parents who’d hear the front door close at 2am closely followed by our two terriers barking. I would then drive to the designated bat location, put on my wellies, unfold my camping chair, and bat spot for around 2 hours before driving home.
One of my least favourite locations was a cemetery where I had to furiously tell myself that ghosts didn’t exist for the whole 2 hours I was there. However, I ended up falling in love with this strange job which has provided me a pathway to my future.
So, I spent my whole summer sitting in the middle of a field, on my own, looking at the sky, counting tiny winged mammals and not being paid a single thing but I loved it.