Quarantine has taken a toll on us all. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the virus, everyone is experiencing a time of isolation, fear, and uncertainty. It’s really easy to see a headline and be affected by it all day. But with all of this sad news around us, we have also had some positive side effects. Be sure to see my article highlighting some good news that has happened during this time! Anyways, I’m going to talk about some ways that quarantine has affected me.
Luckily, my family and I have not been exposed to the virus. We try to stay safe by wearing masks, gloves, and washing our hands as often as we can. If any of you or your family have been directly affected by the virus, I’m so sorry to hear that. We are all here for you! I know others are struggling a lot more than I am right now, but I just wanted to share some things I have been going through to hopefully normalize the idea of not being 100% okay during quarantine.
I am currently a sophomore in high school, and I can say that being a student during this time has been rough. At the beginning, I thought that I might be more productive than I usually am because of all the free-time I have. However, I have learned that if anything, I have gotten more counterproductive. Personally, I love the structure of school. I like having designated times for learning rather than having to figure out times to learn. This has caused my motivation to be really low. And that’s okay. I shouldn’t expect to be at my best when there is a pandemic causing so much pain to the world. My best right now was not my best in early April. But the only thing I can do is try to accept this and run with it. I have 3 AP tests to take. It’s hard to find motivation to study when so many things are getting me down. But I just think about how if I succeed, I will save my parents money in college expenses. However, there are still days I just have a defeatist mentality and feel insecure about my AP courses. What I have to remember is that I have prepared throughout the year for these tests and my score doesn’t depend solely on this time during quarantine. Luckily I have regained some of my spark by reminding myself that I am a good student and I can get through this. I’m not back to my normal self, but I don’t expect to be for a while. And that’s okay.
I’ve been feeling pressure to keep busy and be productive all of the time. While this is something to strive for, we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be perfect. Some days you just feel like binging a show or playing video games all day. You don’t have to lose weight to have a “glow up” before quarantine’s over. Social media has been toxic for me during quarantine. Ads encouraging the “Perfect Quarantine Workout” or posts talking about methods of being productive make me feel even more stressed. Sometimes I may be in the mood to workout or work on school stuff, but I shouldn’t expect myself to feel good everyday. Productivity is great when it’s healthy. When it’s used as a way to disguise depression or anxiety, it is not healthy. Be productive when you can, and don’t stress yourself out thinking you have to work one something 24/7. Listen to your body and know the signs of exhaustion or overextension. Take a deep breath and be willing to slow down every once in a while.
Family and friends are a major aspect of daily life. Luckily I am able to keep in touch with my friends on the phone. However, this is really not enough in the long run. We rely on technology to communicate with each other, but I think now that it’s our only way of talking to the outside world, we see how important it is to talk face to face with someone. I hope we take advantage of seeing our friends and family once this has passed. I know I will. I think all the time about how I would drive my friend home everyday and how important our conversations were to each other. I think about the many times my friends and I would hangout on Saturdays taking random day trips. Life was good and we didn’t know how truly lucky we were. From simple interactions in different classes to sleep-overs, social interaction was something I could hold onto. It has been one of the rare things that has stayed stagnant in my life. And now, it’s kind of gone. I’m sure so many people are feeling this way. I am an introvert, and I usually have no problem having alone time for hours or days. But now, I’m experiencing loneliness for the first time. It’s okay to need people around to talk to. We are social animals who feed off of each other. We travel in herds and groups. But now we are separated. All I can say is that we will be together again some day, and we will never take each other for granted again.
All in all, it’s been difficult to accept the fact that this is what life is like right now. It’s okay to have bad days, weeks, or months, but we have to keep hope knowing that we will get through this. If you want to see your friends and family soon, please remember to do all you can to not spread COVID-19. We are all in this together, and we are counting on each other. If you’re going through anything that’s similar to what I’m going through, know that GirlSpring is here for you. And feel free to share your thoughts and feelings by submitting to our website. Thanks, everyone, and stay safe.