I’m losing my teenage years and missing so many opportunities

Charlotte Clinton Murray, who is 14, on a year when life changed drastically and strangely

Charlotte Clinton Murray: While there may be a lot of negative aspects to lockdown, it’s important to look on the bright side

Charlotte Clinton Murray: While there may be a lot of negative aspects to lockdown, it’s important to look on the bright side

 

Teen life has been extremely out of the ordinary for the past year. Everything has changed so quickly, so drastically and so strangely.

Teenagers, including me, have been thrown into online school not once, but twice, and we’ve been put in lockdown yet again.

This pandemic has been hard for me, and for everyone. Over lockdown, I’ve had a lot of time to think about, well, everything.

Like how my schooldays changed from waking up at seven in the morning, and throwing on my uniform to walk to school, to waking up an hour later and getting my laptop to log on to a class call. Lockdown comes with perks – for example, getting to have a small lie-in each day, and... that’s about it.

For me, the cons of quarantine heavily outweigh the good things. Like I said, I’ve had a lot of time to think about everything – my life, my past, and my future – which led me to come to a lot of conclusions.

One of these conclusions relates to how I’m losing my teenage years.

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With the lockdown restrictions, and the fear of contracting the virus and putting my loved ones in danger, I’m missing so many opportunities – opportunities that could have been available to me had lockdown not existed. If Covid ceased to exist, I would be going to concerts and events with my friends.

However, since that is not the case, I’m constantly stuck at home, and left with nothing much to occupy myself with.

Uncertainty

With Covid also comes a lot of uncertainty – uncertainty about my future, the condition of the world, uncertainty about everything, really. As I approached third year, I was under the impression that the Junior Cert would be happening, and that I would attend school in-person for the full academic year.

However, since we’ve been thrown into lockdown yet again, and my school has been shut indefinitely, I am not so sure about any exams occurring. I don’t know how this will affect my education, and I know that a lot of other students feel the same.

When school is over and I have a good amount of work done, I’m able to work on my physical and mental health

Online school comes with its disadvantages.

Due to a majority of my classes occurring through a live class, I have to sit in front of my screen for long periods of time, which is not only draining, but also quite unhealthy. Although this isn’t a fault of my school, it is still something that is beginning to affect me.

With not much open, and restrictions being placed on meeting other people, it is often something I resort to for entertainment as well. Most days, I go on TikTok or other social media in an attempt to cure my boredom.

Free time

However, lockdown has allowed me to have more free time than usual. When school is over and I have a good amount of work done, I’m able to work on my physical and mental health, which is not something I may have had time to do without the lockdown.

Although I may have many burdens holding me back and sometimes occupying a lot of my time, I still get time to work on myself during the week, and I have seen this as a positive effect of lockdown.

While there may be a lot of negative aspects to lockdown, and it is a saddening time for all, it’s important to look on the bright side, make the best out of things, and focus on the things that make you happy.