COVID-19 was something that many people have had bad experiences with. My experience isn’t something that is uncommon, yet it’s something that causes me to struggle to this day.
Before COVID, I was a student who was confident and was great socially. I was a part of most clubs and wasn’t afraid to raise my hand or eat without caring how I looked. However, when COVID came around, it made a huge difference. For starters, I was in 7th grade when we first had to switch to online. There was no such thing as Zoom or Google Meet for us. We just had Chromebooks that we were supposed to use to finish any assigned work. Whether we understood it or not. It was a very tough time for me because I could never ever focus on just doing my work. During that time, I learned a new skill. Procrastination.
Every single assignment I had, first off, I didn’t know about them, and second, I thought I had time. I finished more than half of my assignments two or three days before school was out. I wrote a notice telling my teacher that I was sorry for all the late assignments. He reassured me, saying that I was one of the few students who had finished all their assignments. Of course, I felt relieved, but when I look back at that moment years later, I realized that I wasn’t the only one struggling. If I was among the few that handed all of their work in, many people were struggling, too. When school started back up in 8th grade, we had to go in with masks. Many would think it was a good way to have everyone back at school while staying safe. But COVID also impacted me mentally.
When I started wearing masks, I started to find some that wouldn’t hurt my nose, or that would work with my scarf. Not only that, but at some point, I started to feel insecure without my mask. It was something that continued to get worse as time passed. Even to this day, I feel anxious out in public without a mask.
I’m still trying to cope with all of it and I am pushing myself to eat normally without caring what others think. Day by day, many people are being affected or are truly realizing what COVID has done to them. I hope that one day this world will get back to normal, and everyone who has suffered from COVID will get better.
Of course, everything is one step at a time. I hope that one day, I will be able to walk the school hallways without needing a mask to cover up the insecurities that I think everyone will be staring at. But until that day, I’ll take it slowly.