Summer launch for Jenny's collected columns chronicling an extraordinary year

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst has been writing for us about pandemic life since lockdown began back in March last year.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 6:05 am
Jenny Bathurst

The pandemic robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. But she ended up with three As and is now studying journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Here is her latest contribution.

"Like many on their final day at secondary school, my year group were handed ‘Most Likely To’ certificates during the last assembly of the year to mark our time at the academy. Despite the dreaded prospect of awkwardly squeezing through hundreds of schoolkids to reach the front, it felt rather exciting. What would be expected of me in the future, and would it come true? Of course, there were the classics: ‘Most Likely to Become Prime Minister’ or ‘Most Likely to Win the Lottery’, but I knew that none of these stereotypes I necessarily fell into. Well, I was wrong.

"I was handed a certificate that read, ‘Most Likely to Write a Novel’. Don’t get me wrong, English was my favourite subject. With an influential teacher and a passion for writing I could understand their decision. But I have never before shown an interest in writing a book, fictitious or not. My dream at the time was marketing, media, or advertising, so I took the certificate with gratitude and gave it little thought. Until about one and a half months ago. Because now, I am publishing a book.

"For those of you who may be reading my column for the first time, I have been writing in this style weekly for over a year now: detailing my personal experience of being a student in the middle of a pandemic. From the day that we were told the country would be in lockdown for only three weeks to May 2021 as we begin to gain some freedom, I have detailed every detail of how the past twelve months have shaped my journey into adulthood. And from the end of June, over 40 of these will be available to read as a collection in both paperback and Kindle form.

"50% of all profits from book sales will be donated to Freedom4GirlsUK, a charity passionate about providing period products and education to those in poverty here and abroad. As I was searching through a memory box in the past couple of weeks, I found a piece of paper that I had scrawled on when I was 14 as part of an assembly to document where we wanted to see change in the world. I said that I was enthusiastic about helping women without access to menstrual products, and five years later I now have the opportunity to raise money for this fantastic cause.

"I am so grateful to the Festival of Chichester who are including my book release on June 30th as part of their incredible festival this year. I will insert the link to purchase tickets at the bottom of this page in which you will be asked to donate a small contribution of £3, 100% of which will go to Freedom4GirlsUK. Chichester College are kindly hosting the event, which is so significant to me due to the fact that the very room in which we will be seated is the hall that would have hosted my A-level exams had they not been cancelled due to the pandemic.

"When I began writing my column in April 2020 I had no idea that it would ever attract as many readers as it has, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to collate them all into one, as well as raise some money for a charity very close to my heart.