Neha Pubbi | Torrey Pines High School Senior
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented times with social isolation, online school, and canceled activities. The feeling of uncertainty has crept into teenagers in the community and nation. “At first, I was worried, since it was a drastic change to be inside for 24 hours, and I was slightly stressed because of not knowing what was going to happen,” Ashley Hanson, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, said.
Due to the pandemic, many events, activities, and sports are canceled. For students, this includes postponed standardized tests. “The pandemic brought stress, because I was preparing for the SAT and I didn’t know whether I could take it,” Asha Gidwani, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy, said.
Despite challenges, teenagers are choosing to focus on positive aspects, like having additional time. “There is more free time, so I often talk with my friends online and play more tennis,” Gidwani said.
To make the best of the situation, teenagers are taking classes over the summer for self-development. “I am taking an online nutrition course from UCSD because of my interest, extra time, and to keep my mind stimulated,” Hanson, also taking AP Statistics, said. Gidwani is taking AP Psychology and AP Human Geography online this summer from the San Diego Charter School.
Teenagers continue to be engaged in athletics, with safety precautions, to keep busy. “I hike, play basketball and tennis, stretch at home, and choreograph dances to keep occupied,” Daniela Fisher, a junior at Westview High School, said.
Teenagers are also using physical activity to manage their stress and worries. “I exercise because during you’re really focused and determined to get past it so you’re not thinking about anything else,” Gidwani said.
Many teenagers have taken up new hobbies to alleviate the pressures of the pandemic. “I created a food blog to stay calm and engaged. Also, I can now spend 45 minutes making dinner, which calms me, whereas before, I cooked quick meals for school,” Hanson said.
To stay positive, teenagers are connecting with friends online with technology and Social Media. “My friends and I set up Zoom meetings every week to connect with my friends, which gives me purpose, helps me forget problems, and it alleviates the hours on end at home,” Daniela said.
The pandemic is creating worries for all, but to cope teenagers are keeping occupied with activities like exercise, connecting with friends, classes, and new hobbies.