What my second semester of 10th grade was going to be: stressing about school, laughing with my friends, driving with my recently-gained license, playing ultimate frisbee for the second year in a row, and many other things I will now never know because they were stolen from me by COVID-19. Through learning my plans were over, I was trapped at home, and life was never going to be the same again, I have slowly come to terms with these hardships. COVID-19 has drastically changed the world and hurt many, but I believe there is hope and wisdom that can be drawn from these harsh times.
Many things have changed, from the way we communicate to the way we feel toward ourselves and others. We’ve been forced to lock ourselves away, leaving behind most parts of the outside world, and in that time I’ve had far too much time to reflect on my life. I’ve discovered more about myself than I have in a long time and who I can rely on when I need to talk things through. The world is in shambles, forever changed, and we’re all suffering at the actions this virus has thrown at us so suddenly.
Along with the drastic changes the virus has sought against us, the virus has also hurt and even killed many. Many people are having troubles with being locked inside. Their mental health is slowly deteriorating and there is a lack of exercise among many people. I’ve had many bad mental health days, but I’ve also had many good days. Exercising has been hard to manage while being stuck at home without equipment, but I’m fortunate to have a treadmill in my house. I try to run a mile every day, and give myself rest days to relax. It’s been hard to keep a schedule of sleeping and exercising, but I know I have it easier than most people and am very grateful.
Though these times have been tough, I’ve received wisdom from many people: my parents, my cousins, my friends, and people I’ve never even met before. These wise words may not change the future and the path of the virus, but being in the right state of mind has helped me realize that the best way I can help is by staying home. I will continue to stay home, and try to encourage and cheer on those who are bravely and tirelessly trying to help the world stay afloat. When this is all over, I think every essential worker, especially those treating the infected, should be given a gold star for their efforts.
While there have been many drawbacks from this virus, there has also been much growth stemming from them. I have learned many new ways to live, cope, and get through tough times, and while the virus has been deadly, at least positive outcomes can be drawn. I believe that despite the deadly effects of the virus, the positive aspects should also not be ignored. Humanity has shown that we are resilient, and we will never give up when something threatens to turn our world upside down.
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 Malissa did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.