Change – Lydia Drake
I’ve experienced a lot of change over the past 14 months. No, I didn’t dye my hair or switch the way I dressed, but it’s still hard to believe I am the same person today as I was 14 months ago.
The change I’m talking about is internal. A change to my mindset. A change to how I spend my time. A change to the way I treat myself and others.
I’ll begin in the first few weeks of March 2020. At this time, St. Louis got its first case of “coronavirus.” I did not understand the severity of COVID-19 at the time. As the virus got closer to me, I began to realize the reality of the world and took it more seriously. The future was not looking bright, and I was trying to ignore that fact.
For me, quarantine began once school was dismissed on March 13, 2020. This was a big change, as I had never been indefinitely “stuck” in my house before. The first few days were fun, as I spent hours watching Netflix and doing whatever I could to waste the day.
The future was not looking bright, and I was trying to ignore that fact.”
About a week into lockdown, my brother returned home from his fourth year of college. While he was away, I typically only saw him during the summer and on an occasional weekend during the school year. Because he was gone for so long, our relationship faltered. When he came back home, we spent more time together and reestablished the bond we had before he left for college.
Life changed again when KSD announced school would transition from in-person to online for the remainder of the year. I was disappointed I wouldn’t be able to finish out my freshman year in-person, but I understood going back to school was not the safest option. Once I started getting into the routine of attending school remotely, I began to enjoy it. During this time, there weren’t any mandatory Zoom classes, so I was able to work at my own pace and not be trapped in front of my computer for six hours straight.
I was able to work at my own pace and not be trapped in front of my computer for six hours straight.”
My world shifted even more when my family began renovations on our house. This was no small project, as our kitchen, dining room, family room and garage were completely torn apart, limiting me to spend most of my time in my bedroom.
Because my house was an active construction zone, I began to resent people posting on social media complaining about quarantine, while they had a fully functioning house. I thought, “How can you be complaining when you have a couch to sit on or a dining table to eat at? Look what I’m dealing with.” After having these thoughts, I tried putting myself in their shoes and thinking of situations that might be happening behind the scenes in their lives. Thinking this way helped me learn everyone is going through something, no matter if they show it or not. After realizing this, I became more understanding of other people and their situations because you never truly know what is going on in someone’s life.
I became more understanding of other people and their situations because you never truly know what is going on in someone’s life. ”
When KHS announced their plan to return to in-person learning, I felt excited to go back to some normalcy after doing online school for nearly half of my sophomore year. Yes, I had my doubts about the return, but I craved going back to normal life. Although school wasn’t — and still isn’t — the same as before, seeing people in class and in the halls is something I missed while sitting in my room completing schoolwork for the past five months. Now that school has gone from half-day in-person to full-day, my life has almost gotten back to how it was pre-pandemic.
Fourteen months ago, I dreaded change. Now I look forward to it. When the adjustments I experienced began to change for good, that’s when my mindset shifted to accept it. I’ve learned to embrace the little, monotonous moments of every day that I wondered if I would ever experience again in the beginning of quarantine. I feel refreshed. I feel optimistic about the future. And most of all, I feel comfortable with change.