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What Covid-19 has taught me

02 November 2020

All of us will remember 2020 as the year of COVID-19. We asked some of our young writers community to share what they have experienced this year and how they have grown.

The importance of relationships
By Teagan Brunner

Going through these months has taught me the importance of my relationship with my mother. My mum and I have always been close, whether dancing to music while we both mess up the lyrics, or watching movies on the couch. She has always been someone I can count on.

Of course, every mother and daughter pair has fights. Arguments that begin with new problems but end in the same tears. These ‘corona confrontations’ weren’t because we were mad at each other, but because there was so much tension around us. It would start with petty comments that didn’t need to be said, and then escalate into screaming matches. It wasn’t until hours later we would talk it out.

One rainy Friday afternoon, we realised quarantine was getting to us. As I shared my frustrations, I realised how important communication was in relationships. I was able to tell my mum how I was struggling with school and how stressed I had become. She’s seen me suffer through every teenage drama, but something about that discussion made a bigger impact on me more than she could ever understand.

Caring for myself during this pandemic absolutely matters, but so does communicating with those close to you. From chatting with my mum, I’ve learnt how to accept things I cannot change, and this has fueled my newfound positivity. I would not be anywhere if it wasn’t for my mother enduring my most insanely stupid moments, wiping away my tears, and helping them turn into laughter over the smallest things.

Sometimes you just can’t win
By C S Kim

I’m going to be honest with you – I have no idea what’s going on.

I was thinking a while ago, back in the confines of COVID isolation, about how our world got this messy. First one thing happens, then another, then another, yet here I’m still stuck on the first thing. It’s like playing snakes and ladders with life, but every time you roll the dice, you get eaten by that snake and it’s back to square one.

I remember one day when fresh out of quarantine: missing the mug while pouring hot water and burning my hand (surprise); forgetting I had an exam, then missing the exam; getting a call from my mother saying my sister had been hospitalised; hitting my fractured finger on a doorway; then setting off the fire alarm frying dinner while dialling my parents wondering what on earth was happening.

I can say confidently that I did not sleep that night. In those 24 hours not only did I realise my clumsiness had gotten worse during quarantine, but sometimes life is a chaotic, unpredictable mess that dumps itself on us. Sometimes, everything and anything can and will go wrong, and it’s OK if you realise, you’re not OK.

Quarantine affected us all differently. For me, being isolated taught me that no matter how difficult life can get, there is always someone there help me. Even if you’re rolling the dice only to slide down yet another snake, it helps to have someone who’s going to catch you at the bottom.

Looking at the positives
By Ann Maria Sabu

I feel the quarantine gifted me ‘time’ and it was the most valuable gift I have ever received. It helped me strengthen bonds with my family as we learnt to spend time playing games and having meaningful discussions.

I also decided to use the time on my spiritual life, and started reading books and meditating. This helped me focus on my goals in life and develop a sense of calm amid the storm of the pandemic. Reading has helped me gain new perspectives on different aspects of my personal, social and political life.

As a first year university student, the most unfortunate part of the COVID-19 quarantine is not being able to attend face-to-face classes. Perhaps the most exciting part about university life is being on campus and spending time with friends. However, Zoom calls came as a life saver, helping me meet new people and get to know them. It helped develop my confidence in connecting with strangers, even though communications were completely online.

The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a difficult situation. Some people tend to focus on the negatives, but I am trying to look at the positive aspects of everything that comes my way.

Adapting as best we can
By Dana Sutherland

At the start of this year, I knew I wanted change, I wanted to start a new chapter that was vastly different to 2019, my first year at university.

The year began well with my first overseas trip – to New Zealand. I began the university year with savings in the bank, a new gym membership and what was truly a great summer break behind me. Then the grind of the year hit, and I was finding it hard to manage my part-time job, uni work, and social life, just as I had in 2019.

COVID-19 uprooted everything, and for all the negative repercussions there were some definite silver linings. I was able to really focus on allocating time to my degree from home, getting ahead in study and doing well in my assessments. I worked more hours at my job, and I was even able to increase my savings.

I can’t say that Covid-19 was a positive event. As with everyone, I was terrified of the virus affecting the health of the people I love. But the presence of a globally shocking event forced me to make some positive changes in my life. I can say truthfully that Covid-19 has taught me to take on what I can’t control and adapt to the best of my ability.         


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