Dhathry Doppalapudi | Torrey Pines High School Senior
In a time in our lives when teenagers expect to be getting ready for summer and hang out with their friends, we’ve found ourselves unable to leave the confines of our homes. Our days are spent completing assignments, being in online classes, and finding ways to just pass the time.
Rohan, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, says it’s hard for him to stay productive and maintain a sense of normalcy while stuck at home. “I’m not very productive at all, because I don’t really have a set routine. I’m no longer motivated to do things.”
Amrita, another Torrey Pines senior, agrees. “Without having to go to school, my sleep schedule has also become really messed up and I haven’t been as productive as I would like,” she said. “It’s hard to stay productive when your teachers just post assignments every couple days and there’s no real interaction or learning going on.”
Gyms and parks have closed, so staying physically active has also become harder for Rohan and Amrita, like many other teenagers, have turned to other forms of exercise, like at-home workouts or going on walks. Rohan has also been able to continue his karate practices, he says, through video calls on Zoom.
“I have a treadmill, do YouTube workouts, and go on runs with my dog, but it’s still difficult to motivate myself because a lot of my physical activity just happened naturally when I was able to go places and do my different activities through the day,” Amrita said.
Being home all day also has a huge effect on mental health. Our world has suddenly become so much smaller and limited. Suddenly being unable to see our friends, people whom we interacted with every day at school, is a tough transition. Keeping in touch with his friends, Rohan says, is an important part of his day. “FaceTiming people and talking to friends is definitely a big thing for me because you don’t feel like you’re completely isolated,” he said. “It helps to feel like everyone else is in this together.”
“In a way, quarantine showed me what really matters,” Rohan said. “All of these things that I was so stressed about, that consumed my life before, are gone now and I realize now that family is more important and just living your life and being happy is so much more valuable.”
Obviously, the coronavirus has impacted the lives of everyone, regardless of age. For teenagers, however, have a unique kind of disappointment. Our teenage years are supposed to be a time when we are worry-free, going out with friends, experiencing life, and making memories. The class of 2020, particularly, is missing milestones such as our senior prom, senior trip, high school graduation, and maybe even our summer and first semester of college. We’ve been looking forward to this time for our entire lives, and it’s been taken away at the last moment. We can’t do anything except hope and trust that it will get better soon.