My experience with the pandemic started very similarly to everyone else’s. I remember that March 12th, 2020 seemed to be a very normal day, until it was announced that spring sports would be canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus. Then, everything went downhill from there. Next thing I knew I would not return to school for another three weeks. Three weeks soon led to a couple more weeks, then eventually the rest of the school year.
At first I remember feeling a strange mix of emotions. I was sad because I knew I wouldn’t see my friends for a little while, scared because I didn’t know anything about this new sickness, excited because I didn’t have to go to school for a while, and relieved because I would be able to take a much needed break from everything. I remember laying in bed the first couple nights of quarantine wondering when I would be able to return to school and googling information about the coronavirus. I also remember thinking about all of the things I could accomplish with all of the time I now had. This motivation, however, did not last long.
As summer arrived, I found myself struggling. I no longer had school, even if it was online, to help keep me in a routine. I never had any school work to do to keep me busy and a lot of the time I found myself laying in bed scrolling through social media. I would (safely) hang out with a friend or two every now and then, but other than that summer was, and still is, just a blur. It wasn’t until my sister left for college that I really realized the impacts of how I spent my summer.
When she left, my junior year began and the first few weeks of online learning were tough. I had to rebuild a routine and get used to sitting in front of the computer for hours each day. By the end of the school day, I didn’t have any motivation to go for runs like I used to or even hang out with my family. I definitely began to notice the impact of this on my physical and mental health. On top of that, I would spend my free time on social media, which is more toxic than ever. I found myself more insecure than ever before because of what I had been doing.
As I began getting into a more stable routine, I quickly noticed the difference in how I felt. I began going for runs again and focusing on my schoolwork. I also began spending more time with family by watching movies and playing poker.
Overall, because of the pandemic, I have grown as a person. I have never been closer with my family than I am right now and I have learned how important it is to have a routine, especially when you can’t leave your house. While the pandemic seemed extremely inconvenient when it began, I can’t imagine where I would be right now if it hadn’t happened.