Change – Lawrence McKee
Change is always good, right? It’s an opportunity for you to better yourself. A chance to explore new challenges. You would think that a year of change could lead to eventful things. You could finally work on all the side projects, hobbies and goals you have, that you never got the chance to do. These were my initial thoughts before the lockdown, when my naive mind thought that spring break was going to last forever, and was only going to be spent with friends and laughs. Going to the movies, driving around Kirkwood to get food, or just going outside to play basketball, as my friend likes to do especially in the summer. However that quickly changed.
I remember how weird it was to see everyone with masks, not even processing the fact that this would be the new reality for another whole year. I still had hope that all this time inside would give me clarity. I told myself I could finally focus on my goals and have no distractions from school. The true obstacle to completing these goals was my environment, after a while, I became bored and anxious in my room.
I hated the feeling of being stuck in one place, it felt like the walls were closing in around me and I had no way to escape.”
— Lawrence McKee
I also despised being alone. Plus going through the pandemic without my friends for most of the lockdown really took a toll on me. Waking up every morning knowing that it would most likely be the same as the last was a little depressing. Get dressed, eat breakfast, then log onto Zoom and start school. Maybe halfway through the day I take a lunch break if I don’t have a lot of homework, then after I finish school I go right back up to my room. The cycle was never ending. To try and break this cycle my family would sometimes do game night or movie night. However I can only deal with my family for so long until I start to get annoyed. Sometimes my friend group did Zooms when we were all really bored, but it would only make me miss them more. Having to be away from them for so long, was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with because of the amount of love and care I have for them. Although I know things could’ve been worse, I tried to remind myself to be thankful for the time I did get to see them. Even if it’s behind a computer screen.
In a more positive light, I tried to take this time to actually stick to my original goal at the beginning of lockdown and try working out at least 5 times a week. For a while I had a streak of going outside everyday to do something active. My brother tried to follow along with me which helped me stay motivated. We would both make videos to document the progress, so we could look at this time as something other than COVID-19. The videos offered a good distraction from the anxiousness that kept building up within. Constant thoughts flooding in my mind of when I could leave the house, if my grades would slip for school, would I know how to interact with people after all this and what if I lost my friends. My head felt like it was spinning and it didn’t help that I had to be isolated. I kept to myself most of the time and staying distant from my friends because at times I was so done I only felt like listening to music and laying in bed. But in a bigger take away my thoughts and struggles helped me understand that I need to work on being comfortable with myself and being alone. My friends won’t always be there, and COVID-19 isn’t leaving anytime soon. And the ability of being able to adapt to new situations is something I can use for the rest of my life. So in some ways I’m glad we had to go into lockdown, because without it I don’t when I’d have another opportunity to grow as a person.