The COVID-19 outbreak has become something that nobody ever imagined nor were prepared for. The impacts of this time will forever change our society mentally and socially.
In times of chaos, our real fears shine through. As a society, we are taught that showing emotion is weak. The whole world is experiencing confusing emotions right now, and it is becoming apparent that we can’t suppress our emotions at this time.
“We all share in the same sense of uncertainty and that shared experience is bringing us closer together,” said Rachel Montgomery, Project Coordinator for Mercer Island’s Healthy Youth Initiative.
We have no choice but to show our true selves. We are seeing each other’s houses and families during zoom calls, witnessing our peers in pajamas. We have no choice but to be real with each other now because we don’t know what the future holds.
There are many ways that you can practice being vulnerable with yourself and others.
“For a lot of people, it’s challenging and uncomfortable to turn their cameras on during zoom sessions,” junior Grace Wilson said. “I think that teachers are promoting being okay with exposure and fragility by letting students see their homes, pets, and boldly leading lessons in front of black screens with names”
I believe this break from our busy day to day lives, running from building to building. It is a great time for personal reflection, which is essentially being vulnerable about our emotions and thoughts within ourselves.
“Now we have a bunch of time to reflect on ourselves and look at where we were at throughout the whole year,” junior Hunter Evans said. “It’s really easy to get down on yourself but one of the most important things is talking to people.”
Quarantine has also created more opportunities for mental health to be brought up, especially in regards to an educational setting.
“Many of my teachers are genuinely concerned with how their students are doing, and dedicate time to check in,” Wilson continued.
No matter who you are, quarantine will have an impact.
“We have all now lived through a similar experience, and I believe that people will be able to connect based on [our] experiences with the coronavirus,” junior Julia Williamson said.
Before our homes were our safe place to hide from judgment.
“We believe that removing grades and relieving some work might help…but in fact, I probably believe having some structure, discipline, focus, and goals are really good things for mental health.” Jane Stafford
Despite the fact that many teengers claim they do not like school, it’s important to remember that school provides a safe place for many students.
“Some young people experience physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect at home and school is one of the places they go to find stable, nurturing relationships.” Montgomery said. “This time in our lives has created an unfortunate opportunity to have a more realistic understanding of the role schools play in a children’s lives.”
It’s important to show everyone that they are not alone. By being vulnerable, we can build stronger relationships and more meaningful connections. We are all at home together.