Today is Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at the time I’m writing this. Which means, biologically, today is my 18th birthday. How do I feel about my newly-disposed adult age? Well, I still feel like a child when it comes to relying on my parents for some services; but, conversely, I feel like I’ve matured significantly over the past year. While life is full of learning curves and new lessons retained, I feel like the pandemic that our nation is currently facing (COVID-19) strongly guided me towards thinking and acting in a mature fashion.
Some people say that turning 18 is your ticket into the world: you can vote, go to the casino, request to be drafted - case in point, you have freedoms unfathomable to the ones you had as a minor. Because of the national pandemic taking place, most of the privileges exclusively for adults are closed down either for a certain time period or indefinitely. These shutdowns allow me to see further how much in life people really take for granted.
Unfortunately, there are some people in this country - and around the world - who are still not choosing to follow the social distancing practices. Most who are reportedly breaking these rules are students in their high school and college years: young adults. As a high school senior, should my brain circuits provoke me in such a fashion, I could be currently feeling a serious depression. For most of my life, I’ve never been good dealing with ambiguity. Having to deal with uncertainty makes me feel unsure and slightly uncomfortable. However, as a result of me growing up (having a job where my hours and shifts are completely ambiguous, and dealing with uncertainties regarding AP exams, senior prom and graduations), I’ve become much more calm when it comes to dealing with the unprecedented.
Being in quarantine has taught me, more than anything else, how grateful I am for the family and friends who support me no matter the circumstance. I’m grateful for my teachers, who are having to adjust to a virtual learning schedule out of sincere dedication for teaching their students. My mom is one of those teachers, who spends a full day on her laptop with her students to ensure their success in a time of national despair. The national pandemic is also testing how valuable certain people are to me - however much (varying in quality) that person reaches out to you with their support and kindness allows you to judge them on how impactful they are in your life.
The world-wide pandemic has also taught me to value each and every single day, but not try to rush it away simultaneously. Each day is a new chance at improvement (in the area of your choosing). I’ve taken some of my time in quarantine to reflect on myself as a person, and how I should improve in some qualities of my life. While I wouldn’t say the quarantine has put a break on my life (I still have school and work while also maintaining relationships with friends and family), the time in isolation has urgently reminded me how to care for myself and others as a person. What future goals are the most effective to set out for myself, and what future goals might possibly be suitable for the friends and family whom I hold tempestuous care for.
At the end of the day, decision-making is one of the most difficult processes. How decisions are made - by all - affect people like a widespread virus. The process of maturing has allowed me to speculate on the importance of decisions in everyday life. Each day I listen to the Governor of our state, Gina Raimondo, and hear what decisions and ideas she has for the benefit of our country. Her advocating for social distancing and isolation, in correspondence to the positive tests and deaths of and by the coronavirus, I see is in the benefit of the people of Rhode Island, as well as the people of the United States which branches off to the people of the whole world.
While I usually see myself as an outgoing and optimistic person, my optimism is peaking at its highest at this moment in time. Some final words to share: everything will turn out for the best, just as long as we are following the social distancing practices that are being advocated by our Governor. Personally, I would like to have my graduation, my summer vacation before going away to college, and my first year of schooling away from home. If you see this practice as arbitrary, or useless for yourself, please keep the younger generation in mind when you consider leaving your house unnecessarily, the high school seniors who are holding onto 18 would greatly appreciate it.