The coronavirus has had a big impact on people all over the world: students, teachers, elders, families, everyone. There have been lots of struggles with the virus and how to keep things productive and up and running. Students have been online schooling, which is a hard thing when we are not getting face-to face-learning and not always getting the help we need. I have had a hard time with the lockdown and quarantine, because without school, sports, friends, and family, it is hard to stay motivated and active. I have tried lots of things to cope with this issue, and I have found some very helpful ways. I want to share the experiences or troubles I have faced along this journey to maybe help someone else who is having a hard time.
Lots of things have changed since this pandemic started, including money, school, sports, friends, and family. It is hard for anyone who has given up any of those things. I had volleyball almost every weekend, and now my season is cancelled. I wanted to improve in so many ways and grow with my team. Sadly, our season was cut short and we were only halfway through. It is hard to see how hard we worked and we never got to finish the season. We are all still finding things to do when this lockdown is over.
Online school has also had a big impact on me. When I first started, I realized that not going out and seeing my fellow classmates and teachers was really hard. Having face-to-face learning is something I learned not to take for granted. Now that it is harder to learn and ask questions, I have been struggling with some homework and keeping up, but the most I can get is a Zoom video call.
Friends and family have a big impact on people. They can make someone's day and make things easier when they are having a hard time. Without having friends around to see almost every day it is harder to solve problems. I have been growing apart from some of them, which is sad to see. I need my friends to help me through these hard times and the most I can do is talk to them on the phone. Another challenge we have faced is my stepmom got furloughed, which basically means she doesn’t work until they ask her to come back and she has to file for unemployment. It has been a difficult time for my family with money and finding things to keep us productive.
I have overcome lots of challenges COVID-19 has thrown at me. I even got tested because one of my parents is a health care worker; luckily it was negative. I realized, because of not walking around school every day and not having practices, I was eating a lot and not using my energy to work out and benefit me. So I started to work out occasionally, and then more and more. Soon I was working out every day. I would enjoy making a workout for myself and then completing it. I felt accomplished. It made me feel good and it was healthy to stay active during this outbreak. (I’m sure you have heard of the “Quarantine 15.”) Another helpful way to cope is cleaning and relaxing. It is time for that spring deep clean and it may help take your mind off things. Cleaning can make you feel better and more relaxed now that everything has been wiped down. Or maybe not even cleaning—maybe you have some home projects you want to finish. Those are also great ways to cope. I have learned that although the virus has taken many things from us, it has also given us plenty of time. The last thing that has helped immensely is just focusing on yourself and trying to come out of this as a better person. You can do this by thinking of all the toxic people in your life and maybe just cutting them out, or maybe just going on a little drive in your car and listening to some music. I have also taken a long break from social media to just think about things and it helped a lot. Taking a break from social media can help you realize you have nature and the small things around you that may be more important than talking about drama on your phone.
I am sure most people have just thought of social media and texting, but there are different ways to have conversations with people and still stay safe. My grandpa lives in a senior living facility and it isn’t too far from my house, so he drives by and we have a little conversation so we can catch up and see each other without putting him at risk. My friends and I also had a great idea to go in a parking lot, kind of out of the way, and sit on top of our cars and just have conversations and enjoy each other. We would park six feet apart from each other. We made memories we will always remember. Another way to stay in touch is FaceTime or a group call, so everyone can see each other and have lots of people in a call at once. I know this is a hard thing to do and it might not work for everyone, but it is extremely helpful for people with the virus or someone who has a loved one who is sick. That way you can see their face and it can make you happier just by talking to someone.
My experiences in this situation have been hard, weird, and different, and I have been challenging myself to maybe try new things. I have also faced lots of personal problems during this time too, and I hope the ways I coped can help someone else who may be struggling with similar issues.
Share your own story here. Sharing stories is a powerful way to connect with other people. Be part of the Teen Health & Wellness Personal Story Project—like Autumn did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.