This time in our life is a very confusing, anxious, and unknowing time. None of us have any idea what to expect in the next weeks. Seniors are unsure if they will walk the stage and teens don’t know if we will be at beaches and concerts this summer. Schools, malls, and even churches are closed till who knows when. During this scary time we just have to learn to adjust and love one another a little more than normal. I have learned to cope in many ways. I love listening to music when I’m anxious. There is something about putting your AirPods in, turning up your music, and just lying in your bed or jamming out in front of your mirror. For a second it’s just you and your music, and all your worries go away. I also have my friends and family to help me cope. I can’t have a hug from some of my closest friends or even my grandma, but I know they’re always a phone call, text, or even a Snapchat away when I need them. Plus I got a pretty cool mom and dad and some awesome sisters who are always there for me when I need them. One of my last coping methods is exercising. I love going for a mile run or doing an ab workout. It’s nice to do something for your body, especially because you were stuck inside with a bunch of yummy snacks like goldfish and cookie dough ice cream.
I feel like things have changed for everyone’s families. A big thing in our family is we can’t have the seven members of our extended family come over for birthday parties and our once-a-month family dinners. We have a big switch in our daily routine, especially my mom and dad. They both work from home and are not used to my sisters and I being here. They’re kinda adjusting now, though. We also haven’t been having Wednesday Awanas and youth group and Sunday service, which have always been a huge part of my family and my life. We all either are cubbies, Sunday school leaders, or go to the youth group. For me, I now have Drivers Ed online, a spring musical over Zoom, and not hanging out with my friends every week as I used too.
Some challenges I’ve been facing during this time are being nice to my sisters or trying to hold myself back from eating when I get bored, lol. My sleep schedule is also super off because I haven’t been doing as much during the day so I’m not as tired as night, but I feel like that’s every teen in the world right now. What I’m missing out on right now is the church, like I already said. I was also supposed to go on a Mission Trip in July 2020 to the Philippines, which just got postponed till 2021. My summer job as a lifeguard has not been canceled yet, so I’m crossing my fingers something changes in the next month so we can open. Most teens right now are also missing their final months of a spring musical, sport, or even last year of school. I do stay in touch with all my friends over Snapchat, texts, FaceTime, Skype, etc. We also love tagging each other in TikToks that remind us of each other or are just plain funny. When it comes to family we have done some drive-by parade birthdays, 6-feet-apart outside visits, or just a phone call. I’ve always been a fan of helping people, so my twin sister and I have been doing a ton of chalk art. We have drawn and written cute little quotes and pictures for people to see during their walks and runs. We’ve also had my mom’s friend print out some amazing senior signs for purchase. We pick up our neighbor’s school lunches for them since they have three kids all under 4, so it would be hard to load them up. We draw pictures and send them to our older seniors at our church to brighten their day. We support local business by eating out at least once a week. Finally my dad and I do something called Food Distribution. It runs through my church. It’s kinda like a food bank, but people pay $20 and we let them go through the line and they can pick whatever they want. It’s my favorite thing I do with my dad and I love interacting with the babies or toddlers who come with their parents.
This time has taught me a lot. Never take school for granted, you’re gonna miss seeing your friends and even teachers every day. Life isn’t gonna go as planned and we’ve just got to learn and adjust. I think COVID-19 has taught the world a lot these past months. I just can’t wait for the day we’re all back together again with no virus lingering over our head.
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 Avery did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.