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Joan’s Story

It all started as something on the news that was happening on the other side of the world. In a matter of a couple of weeks, it would eventually make its way to the U.S. and become a pandemic. Due to this, there have been disturbances in everyone’s life. Personally, this was not one of the most major interruptions with there being things that make this time hard and not always the most bearable.

This time of staying indoors, and being cautious with every action has brought up some challenges. A big challenge is staying inside and away from all my friends, non-immediate family, and school. Being gone from school was enjoyable at first. As time went on, I started to miss seeing my peers and learning in a classroom. When going to school online, we do get to see each other by using apps like Zoom and FaceTime, but it’s nothing like being all together. Also during this time, while I have been doing assignments and getting good grades, I don’t feel like I’ve truly earned them because I know that the teachers were told to make everything easier since we are not in the classroom. Because of this, I feel that I might struggle in years to come because I did not learn everything that I could this year. I do not blame anyone because I know what they are doing is best for the majority. With this being said, I have been reading articles and watching shows that showcase topics that I am interested in, along with some others for pure enjoyment. My friends and I are interested in many of the same things so that helps us to get our minds off of everything that is going on in the world and enjoy some of the things that we love.

As of this spring, I was excited to try out ultimate frisbee for the first time at school. I was looking forward to it because I would get to spend more time with my friends while doing an activity to stay up and moving. Like many sports across the nation, it has been canceled, and we are fortunate to have the hope that it may be possible to have a summer season. At the same time, it is never good to get your hopes up too much because anything can happen at any moment. To go with this, many of my friends have had their birthdays during this time. While some were fine with celebrating with just family, others were upset that they wouldn’t be able to celebrate their sweet sixteen surrounded by friends. A positive thing that came out of this situation is that we found creative ways to celebrate.

Lastly, I miss the freedom to do whatever, whenever I want to. Going to the store, going to the park, going on a walk through the neighborhood; are all things that aren’t like they used to be. When I go to public places, I respect others who are there because even though catching corona is not my biggest fear or concern at the moment, it might be for someone else. For example, when I’m at the store because my family needs to restock on food and I see someone looking at the product that I’m at the store to get, I wait for them to leave before I go and grab what I need. Even though it may make the trip take a lot longer and doesn’t make for the most ideal situation, I’m fine with it. For one thing, I have a lot more time to waste, and besides, I know the fact that I am doing my part in social distancing and keeping others safe. I hope that the small choices that I, and hopefully others, make in moments like these will help to keep the virus from becoming more widespread than it is. In the end, I wish there was a way to tell when this will all be over. I would love to have a date and time to look and strive for. Even though going back to normal might not be true anytime soon, hopefully, this type of lifestyle will become more ordinary and adaptable.


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 Joan did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.