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Tuesday June 28, 2022

My Teenage Life in this Pandemic

boy lonely

Last year in March 2020 when the pandemic began, my life and the lives of many teenagers like me changed for uncertainty and without an ending line in sight. First, the school stopped and became virtual. My basketball season got suspended. How I lived my life suddenly was upside down. There were no sleepovers or hanging out with friends; no going to restaurants with parents, no travels, and no watching films in the theatre. I just had to stay home and wondered what this virus meant at all. 

Now I have been in this situation and in quarantine at home for almost a year. I have been attending school online, graduating from seventh to eighth grade without having any friends or teachers to meet. Since April 15th, 2020 my basketball season was suspended, with a little opening during summer, but eventually, it was stopped again in fall 2020. Every public gathering has been shut down with no real understanding when we all can go back to human contact again. To me, online school feels like being homeschooled. Another way my life has changed is that I always have to be alert to my hygiene and sanitize things like groceries, outdoor items, my hands, and much more. This is my first time in an experience like this.

Waiting for the school bus early in the morning, going to school, seeing friends, and meeting teachers in classes all seem special now.

I am also now realizing the importance of food and food wastage that I never really paid attention to before the pandemic. Now, I make sure not to waste food. I have heard and read that people who are not so privileged and in poverty do not have resources and food during this time and are looking for government help or food stamps, and that has made me realize, how very lucky I am, even though this is a hard time to be locked up in the house all the time.

I do have to share and feel that every kid my age might also feel with me– the state of boredom. After online school, there is a lot of homework every day, and then I get to play videogames, but how much of that same pattern of home school and video games, reading or music can one really like? There is nothing else. Sometimes, I watch a film with my parents and that is really nice, but after that, it’s either back to homework or playing games. It’s like a repeat cycle with no end. However, I hope that with the vaccination program we do break this cycle and come out of it soon.

Arjun14th Birthday
My 14th Birthday. Ma baked my favorite cake.

During this quarantine, I also happened to turn fourteen recently. Although I did not go out to celebrate, nor were there any friends, I did celebrate at home with a nice basketball cake that my mother and I baked, and there was happy birthday singing with my parents. My close friends wished me online but it would have been nice to actually see them. The last birthday, when I had turned a teenager, I was in Athens, Greece celebrating my birthday. Distant news of the pandemic was there, but I could never imagine that it would come so close to me and the lives around me. It all seems like a dream that I had traveled to another country for my birthday when now I cannot even go out of the house. 

One thing I did learn from this experience though, is never to take the everyday mundane things for granted again. Waiting for the school bus early in the morning, going to school, seeing friends, and meeting teachers in classes all seem special now. Even if something was wrong before, it would ultimately go away, but now things are just stagnant. Some months ago, I did not know what a pandemic was or let alone imagine I was going to experience one. But now, almost a year later, I am living through one and it has taught me how to be in adverse situations, even if I may not like it. However, I also realize, all of us, across the world, are in this together, and that makes me feel a sense of solidarity with people and kids my age. 

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3 Responses

  1. Well said, urgent. You are right and that you are not alone. But I still feel you and understand your situation. As a teenager it must be so hard. But you are doing the best you can and I’m so proud of you. Keep up the good work. This too shall pass. Keep writing. And share your thoughts with the world. We need to hear you. All the best.

  2. Excellent writing. Please keep going . My teenager son is also going through the same situation . He is also 14yrs old. Pandemic has stopped his life too. So proud of you Dear.. that you expressed yourself so beautifully.

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