Being a highly social generation, the pandemic sure changed our lives in ways nobody could ever have imagined from online schooling, to trying lockdown recipes, to video calling our loved ones to name a few. We, teenagers, are at a stage in our lives where we rely on and are heavily invested in social interactions. When this was gone, it had a great emotional and physical impact on the body and mind, and I can say, without a shadow of a doubt – my life changed! Well, several aspects of it…
We flourish in community, in connections, and in sending and receiving love. When I ask people what one thing brings them the greatest sense of wholeness, a commonly given answer is: spending time with loved ones and friends. Ergo, it isn’t surprising that loneliness hurts. For me, the social distancing and quarantine rules made me feel like I’m living in a bubble. And in that bubble, loneliness often crept in. My usual ways of seeing my teachers, friends, and familiar faces had been put on a pause, and this definitely evoked a lot of anxiety. From one angle, we are all fundamentally alone. We come and leave the world alone. We are all independent, separate bodies with emotions and feelings no one else can entirely endure. On the other hand, we are always interconnected with the ones around us no matter what, being social creatures. So, when the torment of loneliness took a hold of me, it felt awful and took a toll on my mental health.
However, there are some fascinating things it taught me too. Most of us during this pandemic have learnt to distract ourselves the very moment we felt this uncomfortable emotion emerging. I, for instance, engaged in some very healthy forms of distractions such as reading, working out, and writing. When life becomes too overwhelming, our hobbies help us relax. I even picked up some new hobbies like growing a flower garden and learning some dance moves. I can merrily say that I have never felt this connected to myself before. There is so much I learnt about the kind of human I am.
Furthermore, when you’re used to having a bit of space, living with the same people 24/7 was challenging. I often had the pettiest of quarrels with my sister, and was at wit’s end on some days. However, the pandemic has also brought me closer to my family now more than ever. My mom and I often cooked together, my sister and I often baked together, we would all sit down for a lovely board game, a movie night, and happy times. This strengthened our bond every single day that passed, and now, it has taught me to be grateful for the people I love the most and never take them for granted.
The months I spent quarantined were also worth it, as I managed to make the most of the unfortunate circumstances by writing an entire book and publishing it in under a year – never waste a crisis, they say! That being said, while the pandemic changed my life in some good ways and some bad, the bad things always had something to teach me. I like to believe that there is something to learn from everything that happens to us, and I can undoubtedly say that I would never have learnt these enriching lessons otherwise.
Saania Saxena is a seventeen-year-old teenager who has lived and studied in Singapore, India, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. As a passionate explorer, she has also traveled to more than thirty different countries across the globe. She maintains a blog on philosophy and her life learnings, with more than 7000 followers, and is the author of the book Teenage Chronicles. When not writing, Saania likes to bake, grow her flower garden, and ride her horse named Jack.
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