In the blink of an eye, our world has changed into what seems like a dystopian novel. I feel silly for having worried over whether I’d find a place to rent for senior week or which prom dress I would buy just a few short weeks ago. Now I’m wondering whether I’ll even be able to go to prom, the beach, or the high school graduation that I’ve waited 13 years for.
I think I can speak for most of us when I say that no one saw corona virus coming, at least not to this extent. It’s really put a lot of things in perspective for me, and I think the worst is looming ahead.
Before I go any further, I do want to acknowledge that I realize there are much worse things going on in the world. There are people who are actually suffering, and this helps me keep my perspective. However, I am writing this through the eyes of a high school senior.
The first few days of realizing the seriousness of the virus were harder than I would like to admit, coming to terms with what feels like an unfinished ending on uncertain ground. This whole year, my senior year of high school, has seen me taking shaky but sure steps towards the future, and now it feels as though I’ve fallen completely off the cliff.
The worst part is, no one really knows what’s happening next. If I had a definite answer as to what the near future holds, I could at least grieve for the time we lost, and accept it. Right now, my mind is holding onto the smallest bit of hope that the virus will be contained, no more lives will be lost, and that we might get a semi-normal ending to the school year. But then I’m brought back down to reality when I listen to the latest updates on the situation and watch as more cases emerge, and other school districts decide to close for the rest of the year. It truly is a roller-coaster of emotions, but you’re blindfolded, strapped in and along for the ride whether you like it or not.
Everything feels surreal, and I’m still not really sure what to think of anything. I admitted to my mom that I honestly couldn’t find any of the positives in the situation, and I’m the type of person who is always able to find some positive in any situation. That scared me. I want my life to go back to normal more than anything right now, as I know most people do. I question why this had to happen in what should be a milestone year for me, and I know I’ll never get back a lot of these “lasts” that are just slipping through the cracks while I’m isolated sitting on my couch.
The weather only confuses my emotions even more. Springtime is a symbol of rejuvenation and exciting new beginnings for many people. I now look at the flowering trees, brilliant yellow forsythia bushes, lush green rolling fields, and sunshine peeking through the dark clouds with sadness in my eyes and heaviness in my heart. This quarantine is looming over what should be a time to celebrate and rejoice together as we soon-to-be-graduates anticipate the adventures that usually follow in the summer months. But we will have to quietly watch nature flourish before our eyes for now, and I anxiously await the day that we can celebrate its beauty together again.
I do think that my mindset has improved as the days go by. Like all of life, it’s a journey with peaks and valleys, but I keep persevering just as I always have. I am actually not that bored. For the first two weeks that schools were closed I could still go ride, but then my barn manager made the wise decision to close the barn to boarders. Shortly after, our county issued a stay at home order, so we couldn’t have gone out to the barn anyway. I am okay with not riding because I know that it is a small act to help the greater good. Again, it is important to keep perspective! But, I will say I am now on Day 5 of no riding, and I can already feel it’s going to be a long week… or I guess I should say an indefinite amount of time. We moved Murphy to my jump trainer’s farm so she could ride him. I’m thankful for this, but again, it’s an unexpected change.
I have been able to go on more walks than I ever thought I would go on with my friends (staying 6 feet apart of course). I have had some time to catch up on homework and college applications; although I will admit, the indefiniteness of quarantine is probably the worst possible scenario for a procrastinator. Since I can’t ride now, I’ve been making sure to exercise everyday in some form, as I find that greatly improves my mood and energy level. I am grateful for the extra time I have to spend with my sister and my parents. And just think, we are living through a massive global historical event! That’s crazy to think about. We will be primary sources! I know my friends and I will never forget about this pandemic that just happened to coincide with our last weeks of high school, and it’s something we can all unite over.
I wish I could’ve written an article about limitless positives of this unprecedented situation. With every positive I find, there’s almost always an immediate negative that goes along with it. The main thing that’s brought me peace is looking at the bigger picture – this is going to be an event that will impact all of our lives in some way, and we’re all going to get through it together. You’re not alone. Call and FaceTime your friends and family! I know that everytime I get to hear my friend’s voices it always gives me a sense of reassurance. Now is a time to be creative in ways we connect with each other. Make the most of it!
Let me know in the comments how your world has changed, and what you have been doing to keep a good mindset. Stay healthy!