Writer: Tara T.
Visual: Sohyun P.
Editor: Justin S.
Quarantine has proved to be a difficult time, and many of us have experimented with different measures to try to cope with it–– whether it be binge-watching Netflix shows, trying to learn new skills, or keeping in contact with friends. Others have viewed quarantine as a blessing, considering it to be a time to relax and de-stress from school. Regardless of our differing perspectives on the quarantine, it is sure that this brief respite from ordinary life has fundamentally changed our lives in some ways and taught us a few important lessons.
Many will agree that time alone has led to greater self-awareness and independence. Before quarantine, especially as teenagers, we had many social gatherings and commitments and therefore it was difficult to truly spend time alone. Although we have online school and social media to keep in touch with our friends, quarantine has granted us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves devoid of any distractions we may have had before. In my experience, I have recognised the aspects of myself I need to improve; such as learning patience, diligence, and maturity. This time can be used to realise our different aspirations; from small everyday objectives and academic goals to future ambitions beyond High School.
The greater abundance of time has also led to a greater appreciation of daily life. Many of us took our experiences and privileges for granted. For instance, our ability to freely go out at any time is no longer possible. We’ve learned to appreciate many things we may have neglected before such as classes in school, going out with friends, and eating in restaurants. While we may not be able to do these things for a while, we can treasure these experiences for the time being. Furthermore, we learned to be grateful for our friends, peers, and teachers because of the positive impact they have had on our lives. The ability to be physically present with our friends and laughing together, the opportunity to learn in a classroom with our teachers, and being able to talk to our peers and challenge each other. While we may not have noticed, these are all experiences that remain in our memories of High School. We must cherish these valuable times because as we learned, we could lose it all in an instant.
Self-awareness is imperative – we must know our strengths, weaknesses and our unique qualities to fully know our aspirations and what we can accomplish. But, appreciating others is as important as valuing ourselves- because recognising the impact others have on our lives, and the impact we have on theirs allows us to build strong lifelong relationships. When life returns to “normal” we must remember what we’ve learned, and integrate it into our lifestyles. These lessons and thoughts must stay beyond us even after quarantine- learning who we are and expressing gratitude towards others allows us to fully experience the value of life.