Updated: Dec 14, 2020
After 9 months of quarantining and sheltering in, most people like me are beginning to miss the world outside. But until something groundbreaking happens we all need to sit tight. I'm a notoriously sensitive and angst-filled creature who has dealt with quarantine in a variety of ways and today I'm here to showcase them to you.
If I was given a rupee every time someone said “Screw 2020”, I’d be able to afford to go to college in the US. And honestly, we get that vibe. Though Covid made exam cheating a lot less planning, we teenagers won some and lost some. Here’s our take on the virus, from 2 teens to you.
Rysha (The Teen Tribune)
This year has been….um, different. And as much as we teenagers love a good hairstyle switch or exploring a new genre of music that drives our parents crazy, this kind of change was a bit more than we signed up for.
So I wrote my 10th-grade board exams last March, the same as every 10th grader every year. And just like every other 10th grader, I was excited to finish up these overrated examinations, celebrate my longest summer vacation yet, starting with a graduation party, and lots of going out! On March 18th, when my exams ended, I went home plotting my Grad dress and shoes but when I woke up the next day, I was suddenly donning a mask instead of glittery makeup. Buzzkill, am I right?
For the first few weeks, I would wake up at my own time, spend the day on Netflix in bed and do absolutely nothing blissfully. Of course, I’d whine and crib about my stolen summer but I didn’t mean it, because I was spending it exactly the same way I have for the last 16 years of my life. But then it began to sink in.
This is permanent.
The problem with the pandemic was that it had no expiry date. That’s why people can't STFU and sit at home. Because they don’t know when this will end or whether it will end at all. And this endlessness is what makes the virus so fatal. Not just to our bodies but our pesky human minds too. As a teenager, well as a homo sapien tbh, I live off of human interaction. Introvert or extrovert, people need a face to see other than Jeniffer Aniston’s on a 12-inch screen. We can start off all optimistic, whipping coffee and frying your own pani-puris. But slowly the family rummy games fade, we become annoyed at the mere sight of our over-witnessed parents and our Wi-Fi usage shoots as moods sink.
Of course, not stepping out hasn’t hindered us from our A1 quality education system. The few months I chilled, my teachers spent slogging behind screens, figuring out how to use a completely new technology just like they once did Whatsapp. But come July, they were armed with the most deadly weapon of them all, Microsoft Teams. And so, instead of waking up to the soft charms of the noon sun, I woke up to the deafening noise of Trigonometry. Instead of being caught talking in class, I am caught watching Sex Education on Netflix, which is obviously a LOT more embarrassing. And instead of sharing my gross Lauki with my friends, I eat it alone, its sliminess hitting a lot harder than before.
But online schooling, in all its isolation, definitely has some solid perks.
Earlier, I had to ask my teachers to drink water in class and they'd say “No! Are you a baby, sipping on water like a milk bottle?!”. Now, while my teacher talks about the types of markets, I’m enjoying my 3rd breakfast of the day, literally drinking milk.
Now, I can achieve my dream of sleeping in class without the guilt of being caught. I can literally go for a walk(only to the kitchen, chill Covid Army) and return to class in full knowledge that nobody noticed.
I think in a way, Covid has pushed us, teens, to do more with our time. Not caught up behind the unnecessary swath of faker-than-Kardashian parties and Gen Z gossip, it turns out that adolescents are actually worth more than their parents’ criticism. These past 9-ish months, I’ve seen so much good come out of a situation riddled with challenges. Philanthropy, mental health support, and passionate initiatives have formed a blanket of positivity that cradles us from the mess outside. I see communities take form and rally around me, friends transcend physical barriers to make someone feel special and people shape-shift and adapt to this bizarreness in a way that’d make a Dementor jealous. We’ve done well, kids.
But not all days are great and sometimes, the loneliness of the situation works its Siren call better on these lazy, unmotivated moments. In these moments, it does not do to thrust oneself forward anyway as if nothing is off. It’s human nature to brush colossal problems under the carpet of “I’m fine.” That’s until the carpet lumps up so high that your issues start to peek their ugly heads out from under. I won’t tell you to be brave and suck it up because though having bad days is normal, indulging them isn’t.
So my advice to you would be that on a bad day, sink into it and indulge it. Feel the emotion you try so desperately to avoid, then find the source and wrestle it. Maybe through ice cream, a phone call to your bestie or a simple count of your blessings; you’ll wrestle hard and who knows, maybe you’ll come out scathed but smiling.
Here is my not-so-expert advice!
Quarantine has been a very interesting, fun yet stressful experience for me. I’ve been exposed to COVID a couple of times since my dad goes to work once in a while and I've traveled a couple of times, thankfully everything has been fine so far. I guess you could say I've been stuck a little lately. At the beginning of quarantine, I was beyond happy because making friends in real life seemed like an endless struggle and since I was in a completely different learning environment I thought I wouldn't fit in that easily. Making friends online was really a great experience. All of the people in my friend group that I keep close, I seem to have a deep connection with. I didn't believe it was possible to make great, trustworthy, and reliable friends online but it really is.
My current feeling about the situation isn't that great. Just yesterday I was up at 3 am and I had just finished talking to one of my friends and once the call ended I felt like I just wanted things to go back to normal. I miss going to school, playing sports, running around the corridors, and more. I feel like I'm trapped here in this place and sometimes I just want to go out and meet people. Staying at home has become more familiar to me but that doesn't change the fact that I wish things were the same. I guess you could say I'm finally tired of staying at home and so many other people are forced to stay home as well so I can't keep complaining about it but it is what it is. This year for the first time since I can remember my family won't be spending Christmas all together since my mom is traveling, the fact of the matter is that
things aren't going that great right now but everything takes time to heal.
I feel like overall quarantine has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I feel like I have so much to see and do. I've had a lot of those moments when I just sit down and rethink my whole life, mostly because I feel like I'm not doing enough during these times. I've had those nostalgic moments too when all your memories just start flowing out at you, it's so crazy how much I've grown through this period of time. When I say grow I mean I've become more emotionally stable and less reckless. So many people have been coming out with new talents during quarantine but that doesn't mean that you have to have one too. I always knew I had a knack for writing but I really worked on it throughout this period. I never discovered a new talent but I just pursued the one I had. I hope that you don't feel the pressure to be super productive or find new talent because that would be a waste of time. Do things if you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Well, that was all for my perspective on quarantine and I hope you were able to relate to it in some way or the other.
And Bob’s your Uncle! You got our rants and some woke tips while we got an audience other than our disinterested parents! Jokes apart, we hope this collaboration showed you how powerful we are together and what this year has meant to us as teenagers. Until next time, wear a mask!