Since I was a little girl, I always imagined that my Sweet Sixteen would be the greatest day of my life. I would have a big party with all my friends and family; I would get my license and have the freedom. That didn’t happen—that couldn’t be further from how I really spent it. My birthday was roughly one month into the pandemic, when cases were still rapidly rising and social distancing was in full effect. I hadn’t seen my friends for weeks and we had been out of school for a while. Since it was my sixteenth and a special birthday, my parents allowed me to see my friends. We sat in my driveway six feet apart and tried our best to celebrate it. I felt guilty that I still wanted to have a party when there were people dying from the virus and suffering much more from it than I was, but it wasn’t that special time I had imagined it to be.
I did eventually end up getting my license, which I am very thankful for. I had to wait in a line outside the DMV for over an hour, six feet apart from the others waiting as well. This granted me a small freedom, even though I couldn’t go anywhere or see anyone. This also wasn’t what I expected it to be. When I got my license I thought I would be driving everywhere, running errands for my parents, going to the mall, or driving two minutes to my friend’s house when I could just walk there—I could use the exercise. Driving was going to be my way to get out of the house more often, but of course my house is where I’m supposed to be.
So quarantine left me sitting in my room on my computer with nothing to do. I always liked to stay home. Of course I preferred going out and seeing friends, but when I know I won’t enjoy my time out, I stay home. I’ve always been able to entertain myself and hang out with my family if I’m forced to stay home for the night, but this was on a whole other level. Staying at home for seven days a week almost 24/7 left me bored and lonely. I had my sister, which I’m thankful for because I couldn’t imagine being an only child during this period of time. I’m thankful for how prominent electronics are in this day and age. Without electronics, I think I would’ve reached the peak of boredom on the first day of quarantine. I have watched too much TV and played too many games from my childhood. I only got exercise by playing Just Dance and Wii Sports. I talked to friends online and I tried to make the new norm work in my life. I think I did a pretty good job, but it’s still very challenging. I simply just wish everything would go back to the way it was before.