Social distancing and isolation have truly made us regret every time we chose to avoid a social setting while it was still allowed. By this point, I think I speak for most of the youth when I say that we are wishing for schools to open again (crazy I know), but how can we find ways to make it to the other side without letting this weigh us down completely. You have to start at the root of the problem. What is it that all of us are missing? I would say that the answer to that is conversations. But I’m not talking about the generic act of talking to people, most of us still have that, but rather, it is the range of conversation that we go through in a day that we didn’t plan to have. Interactions over this time are in short sessions, from talking to one friend to then rotating through the group of people that you feel comfortable enough calling. What we don’t do is have those sporadic moments when you turn over to tell your friend something or call people who we may not instinctively ‘want to see’. This may seem unconventional but sometimes an argument is what you need to trigger an idea when you get stuck. The complete lack of variety most of us are experiencing is horrible for creativity. You can’t grow holistically if there isn’t a range of stimulants in your day, good and bad. Just think, online lessons and meetings keep our minds active, but right now, not much is challenging us emotionally.
Our online interactions lose whole dimensions. So many of the senses are cut off through the screen and although we may not realise it, that stops us from picking up on a lot of non-verbal cues. A considerable amount of how we communicate is physical and we may not realise how much our relationships are affected by this.
Being in a situation that most of us find uncomfortable, we look for solace in the familiar. However, the nature of the lockdown has restricted so many people from their access to environments that they are emotionally dependent on anymore. To some people, it might have been the walk back from school in the rain or the pizza on a Friday night with friends and family. Having these things taken away means that we need to find a substitute “safe spot” that grounds us, while at the same time interacting with a wide range of personalities, as we normally would have. This ensures that we preserve both mental comfort and growth in this difficult time. It’s important that as people who are in highly impressionable stages in life, we realise how much more we need to sustain ourselves in this time than we may have initially thought, or that we may miss something we never even knew we depended on. So think about it, what small part of your day do you want to take back. Whether it’s having a virtual baking session or even just turning on your zoom camera during lessons. We must take our lives back in our hands and stop waiting for things to ‘get back to normal’ because growing up waits for no one.