Around now, Maeve Connolly should be travelling to the refugee camps on the Greek island of Samos to volunteer with the migrants flooding into the country.
Covid-19 has put paid to all of that. Instead, like thousands of others whose plans have been completely disrupted, the 24-year-old is back in the family home after several years.
"I'm home far longer than I envisaged or desired," says Maeve. "It's difficult because I'm back to a state of uncertainty. I'm finished my degree and I feel I have regressed.
"Being home is brilliant in many ways, but it's also difficult.
"There are great conversations," she says, adding that she enjoys being around her family.
"It's such a rarity that we are all living together," she laughs, adding however, that her sisters are "more communicative" than she is, and that it can be difficult at times "to marry the very different personalities in the house".
"We get on very well, however, and when we're together we have a laugh, but I think mum finds it difficult to accept the different personalities and the space they need.
"The house is louder than it has been in a long time, so it is an adjustment!"
It certainly is. Elaine Connolly, a primary teacher off on Covid-19 leave, is mother to the four young women - Laura (25), Maeve (24), Orlaith (19) and Sarah (17). She enjoys having all four daughters back in the house, she declares, but the situation brings some challenges: "Two of the girls were at home all the time - Sarah is still in school and Laura is doing an online teacher-training course .
"Now we have four very distinctive young personalities in the house.
"I like the fact that we are all here together, which is something that has not happened much in the last number of years, because there's always been someone rushing off somewhere.
"Last night, for example, we had a lovely chat around the table. It was so nice to have that conversation and to get their views on things - their views are very different and it gives me another perspective."
However, on the domestic front, she acknowledges, there are some issues that must be resolved, because, as she points out, when adult children come home, they can revert to the expectations of childhood or continue with the casual student lifestyle they have adopted while away at college - or both.
"I've always done the shopping, cooking and cleaning and it takes a while for some family members to step up to the mark," she quips.
A weekly cooking roster has now been organised, but there are still some wrinkles to be ironed out in terms of the lifestyles of adult children living together in the family home.
"Being the mother, I find it hard because people can come home and treat it a bit like student accommodation. It bothers me! Being the mother, you don't want people staying in bed all day or staying up all night watching stuff. I believe we all need a routine.
"In college, students can stay up late and just crawl out of bed in time for lectures, but I'd like to see the girls getting into a routine."
She'd also like to see her daughters taking regular outdoor exercise.
"When they were small, you could throw them in the car and take them all out for a walk, but you cannot make older people do your bidding.
"I have to respect the fact that they're adults and have their own ways of doing things. It's about everyone recognising everyone else's needs for alone time and fun time.
"We have to pull together because we're a family!"
Psychotherapist Bernadette Ryan has first-hand experience of this unsettling new world - her daughter has just returned from college in Poland, and her musician son is back home after the European tour of his band Thumper had to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The uncertainty, anxiety and tension caused by the abrupt disruption of everyone's normal routines has led to a general atmosphere of fear in many families, she believes.
"For these young adults, their lives have been upended. I think older people may be more accepting but younger people are at the beginning of their hopes and dreams," she observes, adding that unless it's addressed, the domestic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic "has the potential to boil up into disagreements" when people return to their family of origin, bringing all this unease and uncertainty with them.
Gone are the established routines and the safety-net of 'busy-ness' she warns, adding that it's time for us all to give thought to what works for us in terms of staying grounded and calm.
This can be as simple as remembering to take a breath and not rush to judgement about others, says Ryan, who also advises that we should be prepared to "apologise quickly and forgive quickly" in the event of conflict.
She suggests designating an area or room within the home as a place for occupants to take time out.
"It's important for families to sit down and talk about how they are going to keep each other safe; this is really about making sacrifices for the common good," she says, adding that while we should stay fully informed via the HSE website, it's equally crucial to avoid catastrophising and to stay away from scare-mongering on social media.
Make the best of this time to find new ways of working, to find some form of mindfulness or meditation, to catch up on jobs that had been long-fingered, she advises - and try to be as optimistic as possible.
Communication is crucial to navigating the challenges in re-negotiating the family dynamic to align with the unexpected return of adult children, believes relationship counsellor Eithne Bacuzzi, who warns that basic issues around chores, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and cleaning need to be negotiated and boundaries set.
"Adult children can be a challenge because they have so many opinions.
"They have achieved independence and don't want to be told what to do," she says, adding that parents meanwhile may have become used to a tranquil life and an empty house.
She strongly advises that every member of the household go out for staggered daily walks, and stay in touch with friends via social media - "Otherwise the house will end up like a pressure cooker."
Communication is crucial, she believes. "The ability of the family to talk about things is important.
"You have to sit down with it. It's good to have a plan, because this means you are taking some control over a very bad situation.
"There is a need to be clear about boundaries and what to expect, because we have to plan it out, and be prepared to play our part."
Eithne Bacuzzi - relationship counsellor
Get into specifics. Discuss daily practicalities, everyone needs to pitch in with the chores.
Set clear boundaries in terms of living together in the family unit as adults - discuss everything from conflict resolution to eating arrangements.
Communicate about how this new adult family dynamic needs to be re-negotiated.
Discuss what could help to make life easier for each individual family member.
Encourage staggered outdoor walks and staying in touch with relatives, friends and acquaintances via phone and social media, suggests Bacuzzi.
Bernadette Ryan - psychotherapist
Look at what you can control and avoid any social media material that aims to catastrophise, emphasises Ryan. Stay well-informed and get the facts on Covid-19 developments via the HSE website.
Decide what helps you, as an individual, to stay grounded, whether it's mindfulness, meditation or prayer. Do it on a daily basis. At a family level, designate a quiet space within the home.
When arguments or conflicts arise, step back before rushing in to judge. Apologise sooner rather than later.
Find new ways to work.
Declutter or catch up with gardening. Wind down.
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