what did i learn over quarantine? that’s a question that i will most likely have to answer in almost every class on the first day of school. when considering what i learned “nothing,” was my first thought. i learned how to sit at home, maybe? or perhaps i could say i learned how to properly wear a mask? but even if it’s not something like playing an entire new instrument or learning to sew, we all did learn something over quarantine. it’s hard not to learn anything after spending five months (or more; quarantine could hardly be considered over yet) at home, alone. i learned about myself, realized my privilege, and learned about friendship.
since i spent a lot of time with myself these past few months, i’ve learned more about myself. i learned that i have a lot to say. i learned that i’m actually kind of funny. i learned that there’s a lot that makes me angry, and it’s okay to feel that way. and i learned that maybe i’m not that bad of a person. we all put on metaphorical masks everyday when we go out. for school, even if i did try to “be myself,” i always did act different than how i felt. now, i let myself feel emotions. when i was sad at school, i would hide it and sometimes even be extra cheerful to compensate. but now, i have nobody to perform for. so when i’m sad, i lay in bed and i watch my favorite show and i do whatever i feel up to. now that i’m not forced to be quiet in school for six hours or forced to be loud for two hours to entertain my friends, i find myself less drained. i do have days where i’m sad, but i feel like it isn’t as often as it was in school. the lack of forced interaction with others has helped me learn about what kind of a person i am, and has probably helped my mental health.
despite the many flaws school as a whole has, i learned that it is a privilege. the fact that we get to go to this place every day, have opportunities to learn and make friends and have teachers who answer your questions. i realized that i took so many things for granted. when we went on vacation every summer, i never took time to think about how lucky i was to be there. even going to concerts, while i was obviously extremely grateful, i still feel as if i wasn’t grateful enough. going out in general was a privilege and i didn’t appreciate it as much as i should’ve.
finally, i learned about friendship. not all friendships are perfect or meant to last forever. not all friendships fit as well as you might think they do. after facetiming my best friend everyday, i’ve realized that with some people, you really do click. even if we’re quarantined, and there’s not much to really talk about, somehow she and i can never stop talking. but i’ve also learned that some people are just school friends, and that’s all they may ever be. when there’s no school to talk about, conversation falls flat. you’re only friends because you’ve been friends for a long time, and suddenly, once everyone’s at home and their masks are lifted, you realize you don’t share as many interests as you thought. that doesn’t mean certain friends aren’t worth having, though; just that some are long-term and some aren’t.
so, even if i didn’t take up five new hobbies like some teachers seem to expect me to, i did learn over quarantine. and honestly, i think what i learned is a lot more important than a new hobby could ever be. covid-19 is obviously terrible and i really hope doctors find a vaccine and cure soon, but i’m glad it at least gave me a chance to look at myself, my privilege, and my friends.