Pandemic Reflection

By Muna Abanoor  |   From : Boston/Somalia  |   School : Horace Mann School for the Deaf

What positive coping skills have I had since the pandemic started? The journey was not easy for my mental health. I am so grateful that I made it through. I mentioned a few positive things during the pandemic. I spend more time with my family and friends. I have more time to reflect on myself, which is so important to have self-care during challenging times. I tried new hobbies. I did not like remote learning.

Before the pandemic, I had a difficult time in my first high school year. I did not have time for myself or take care of my mental health. I was busy and stressed with everything which was so overwhelming. I managed to get through without everyone knowing about it. I made sure I was doing well in school and socializing with my family and friends. During the pandemic, I learned I needed to stay in my house for a long time as I thought it was crazy. I realized it was a good thing because I have more time to take care of myself and reflect on myself. This was a journey where I started to discover myself. That was a positive thing about isolation.

As the pandemic is challenging, I tried to do different hobbies as it was new or the same. I started to go walking more. I learned how to draw, write my journal, exercise, make TikTok, and more. I enjoyed doing these hobbies. I spent more time together with my friends because our schedule was flexible. I always go to the basketball court to practice my shot. I had plenty of time to do new hobbies, which is so important. That is a positive thing about finding new hobbies during the pandemic.

During Spring 2020, my family and I had a tough time with lost loved ones due to COVID-19. This was quite different since there was a limited gathering. We had to say goodbye and watch the funeral on Zoom. After this, we always check in with our families and spend more time with them. There were some positive ways of what we were doing in the pandemic. We traveled, went to fun places, restaurants, etc. That helped us to be better during tough times. I spend time with my cousins to make sure they are happy. Before the pandemic, my sibling and I were not close. We started to grow close during the pandemic time. That is amazing for our bonds with family. These positive coping skills I had with my family during challenging times.

I am not a major fan of remote learning. It was difficult for me to focus on class because I did not have the motivation to do academics. As a result, I received good grades which were positive about remote learning. I understand why we need to do remote learning for health and safety reasons. Another positive, I have an easy transition to online classes from in person. I had a hard time with my mental health since I was alone in my room doing remote learning every day. I used to go to school and see everyone. My mind needed to socialize. After one and a half years of remote learning, we are back in person, which is so exciting. It is not the same as before the pandemic because of new rules.

In conclusion, there are many negative and positive things about the pandemic for everyone and me. These are difficult times, but we are still through. I am so happy I got to spend more time with my family. I had plenty of time for myself. Everything is almost back to normal, which is good and bad. The pandemic is starting a journey to finding myself again. If it were not for the pandemic, I do not know if I would make it. 

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