Loadshedding and Learning: When you’re in the dark!

loadshedding and

I wake up – its loadshedding. I go to school – it’s loadshedding. I come back from school – its loadshedding. I go to sleep – its loadshedding and it feels like my life is constantly engulfed in a cycle of darkness. It’s not enjoyable. It’s affecting businesses, household and myself, as a student.

Here are just a few ways loadshedding has impacted my education.

  1. Loadshedding In School.

You’d assume it’d be nice when your teachers announces that there’s no electricity so they cant project the notes on the board. Sure, at first it was! But now we’re constantly having to adapt our lessons to fit the unpredictable loadshedding schedule. Worksheets have to be printed during certain times and in many cases aren’t printed because we don’t know when the power will come back. It feels like a scramble, for both us and the teachers, to ensure that all the content is covered properly and is organized with all the instability and adapting that the loadshedding has caused.

  1. Loadshedding and Homework

Most of the time there’s no power when I come back from school. In the rare days that we do have power, the number one question on my mind is “Mum, what time is loadshedding?”

It’s vital to know when loadshedding is going to strike in order to plan how I’m going to do my homework. I cant do it in the dark because even with emergency lights, its still a huge hassle. If there’s online homework, where I have to type something up, then it’s a rush to ensure that the devices are charged. The worst is when I have to print something for the next day but ESKOM strikes and now I’m in a sticky situation. Its an understatement to say that handling and planning homework with loadshedding is stressful.


  1. Loadshedding and Studying

Similarly to homework, I have to constantly plan around the unpredictable loadshedding schedule. The difference here is that there’s a lot more stress attached to it. Having to make sure there’s enough time with electricity allocated to study is a subject can be quite complex. Planning only gets me so far, and since I write two cycle tests every week, I find myself having to push through the darkness and spend nights studying in the dark. There’s something awfully draining about being encompassed by darkness and only having an emergency light to help me read my notes. The eye strain is REAL.

  1. Loadshedding and Social Life

I’m no social butterfly but for my peers that are, they’re finding it rather difficult to find time to actually call and catch up with friends because someone or the other always has to have loadshedding. In my case, its hard to not only catch up with my friends but also to do group projects without actually seeing one another in person. There is never a time when everyone has power and its near-impossible to plan a time. If majority of us do, by some miracle, have electricity, there’s nearly always someone that is going to be left in the dark (literally and figuratively)

  1. Loadshedding and My Mental Health!

There’s so many feelings and emotions that I’m sure many of us feel regarding the loadshedding situation. There’s this ever-looming stress of having to plan around the schedule that is constantly changing. There’s a feeling of anxiety about whether or not you’re work is going to get done on time. There’s the feeling of strain from having to be constantly adapting to all the changes. There’s also a push to be creative and find ways of managing life as a student in the loadshedding crisis.

As you can see, there’s numerous ways that I, and I’m sure other students, have been affected by loadshedding. It’s stressful, its draining and its not easy. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to go through this but here we are, and the most we can do is push through, try to stay positive and just do our best to make the best of our situation. If anything, we’re building resilience and proving that we can get through anything.

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Ammarah Patel

Ammarah Patel

Ammarah Patel, a 14 year old avid reader, currently in Grade 8 at Parktown Girls High School. An active member of the debating society, she also loves drawing and writing stories of her own.

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