Let’s admit it: we’ve all said these words at least once over the past few months.

Personally, I have a long list of things I’d like to do, written on coloured sticky notes inside a glass jar on my desk.

My wishes vary from boarding a plane for a holiday, to seeing friends and family near and far, having a picnic, visiting a museum and even returning to the office!

We asked Victorian students, young and old, what they’re looking forward to doing as soon as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

It’s not surprising to read their desire to escape, see different places and do all those fun activities that can only be done outside the home.

Above all, there’s a need to be with others, to return to shared spaces and spend time with peers and loved ones, who have only been seen through a screen lately.

“I want to be somewhere else, to live my life with the people I trust,” is the wish of Meg, a Year 8 student at Grovedale College, on the outskirts of Geelong.

Meanwhile, Year 7 students at the school can’t wait to play sports: Jemma is keen to get back on her surfboard, while Oliver is very ready to resume kicking the footy around at training.

“I’d like to return to my favourite sport, AFL, because it’s really fun and I like it,” the latter said.

Then there are those who simply want to see their friends again, like Tayah and her peer Ellia, who said she can’t wait to go back to school and see her classmates and teachers.

Two friends, both named Sofia and Prep students at Brunswick South Primary School, are counting down the days until they can fly to Italy and hug their relatives again.

A picture by Sofia M from Brunswick South Primary School

A picture by Sofia Z from Brunswick South Primary School

Their peer Arianna, who lives in Templestowe, wants to go to the beach and have a party with friends for her birthday, which was in May, during Victoria’s lockdown (picture below).

The desire to go back to doing things we previously took for granted is almost universal, and doesn’t waver with hemispheres or time zones.

This is reflected in the poivorrei (then I’d like to) project, conceived at the end of March by Verona-born sisters Lidia, Elena and Sofia Caricasole, who created an Instagram page and website to document the wishes and dreams of Italians.

They’ve received 96,000 messages and the Instagram page has more than 452,000 followers.

The idea was born out of a moment of despair: during the first week of lockdown, Elena began to draw up a list of things she was missing.

“They were the most ordinary things, like going shopping with friends or dancing in the middle of a piazza,” she said.

She then shared them with her sisters who live overseas and were unable to return to Italy due to the closure of borders.

They said to themselves: “Why not make it interactive and gather people’s desires?”

“We created the site and then the Instagram page, which went viral in a few weeks,” Elena said.

The wishes collected during the project have also been turned into a book, published in July.

They also received many messages from children, many of whom spoke of their grandparents.

“They’re incredibly sweet,” Elena said.

“There were those who couldn’t wait to hug their grandparents again, to play cards with them again, and to smell their grandmother’s house or her freshly made lasagne.”

Meanwhile, teenagers wrote about romance and declarations of love they wanted to make, as well as school and missing their friends.


Wow, che caldo ⠀ Vi aspettiamo nelle storie 💘💘. ⠀ #poivorrei #cotta #cottaestiva #estate2020 #summerlove

A post shared by poivorrei (@poivorrei) on

On a personal level, the Caricasole sisters’ biggest wishes were to reunite with each other and go to the beach.

“The first dinner together with our parents at the end of July was special,” Sofia said.

“Once we finally found the sea in front of us, we stood in awe of it.”

Although Italy’s nationwide lockdown has long since ended and students returned to the classroom on Monday, the Caricasole sisters continue to receive wishes, often linked to school and university.

“Many concern personal goals, as well as love,” they said.

“After all, we’re a romantic country, aren’t we?”

Meanwhile in Victoria, we continue to compile our own lists with the hope of realising some of our dreams soon, as people across the rest of Australia have started to do.

Remote learning at Grovedale College

During this remote learning period I’ve really enjoyed staying at home in my comfortable clothes all day and not having to get up as early as I would if we went to school normally.

I also enjoyed not having so many distractions in the classroom so that I could get higher quality work done.

Once the lockdown is over, I plan to go on a little holiday with my parents, probably in Victoria, but just to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

I also want to have a sleepover at my sister’s house.

Abbie, Year 7

I can’t wait to go back to playing sports at school.

I like being able to eat and do the things I want.

Corey, Year 7

I like remote learning because I can stay at home and eat meat (sic) all day, but being at home is really distracting and it’s harder to get help.

It’s really hard to adapt to the bell not ringing at the end of the lesson, but I’ve worked out a system and I’m trying to adapt it.

Ruby, Year 7

I’m bored not being able to do fun things.

Brodie, Year 7

It’s hard working at home with no idea what to do during the whole lesson.

But some parts are as fun like being able to go out on the trampoline during recess and lunch.

I can’t wait to go back to school with all my friends and play sports in and out of school when the lockdown is over.

Zane, Year 7

My name is Shayla and I find remote learning a bit difficult; with Italian, I really try to concentrate and practise and reread what I’ve just learned.

I really like Italian.

Shayla, Year 7

I can’t wait to see my best friend when the lockdown is over.

The only thing I like about remote learning is that I’m at home.

Summer, Year 7