by Cole Mullins
I never thought that the world would just stop.
Throughout my life I have always been moving non-stop, picking up every experience and opportunity that I can along the way. It led me to my senior year where all my accomplishments and hard work would finally be rewarded. My next chapter was set to begin. In my mind, I was off to New York City ready to take on the world.
But on March 13, 2020 the world stopped. Schools were closed for the first time in my life. My father’s orthodontic practice was shut down. Restaurants were shuttered, stores were empty, and there we were stuck at home. We were in the dark about what was to come. It seemed like we were just having an “extended” spring break, however, as time went on weeks turned to months. I no longer questioned “what” was next, I wondered “when”. Never did I think that I would have to stress about being online for my first semester of college. Never did I push aside possibly not having a graduation. Never did I think that the world would just stop.
At first quarantine was difficult. I missed friends, teachers, sports, and my normal life. I realized how much I missed school. I missed sitting in 2nd Period AP Literature with Ms. Pehrsson and 4th Period AP Government with Mr. Silverman. Covid-19 robbed me of what I was excited for. I finally had the confidence to audition for a musical after last year, but didn’t get that opening night. I went to months of physical therapy to get my leg healed for Track season, ready to bring my mile time down, but wasn’t able to feel the track under my spikes. I had envisioned myself getting my diploma and throwing my cap at a graduation, but now question what the outcome will be. My mental health was not good when this all started and I wasn’t recognizing myself inside. My dog Pico of 8 years died on the first Monday of quarantine (I laid with him as he was put down). I wasn’t my usual chipper and outgoing self as I was lost for words with what was happening in the world. Everything seemed flipped and I didn’t know how to proceed, however, this is where I grew. I matured and found new value in the world. I decided that I would do everything I could to reach my goals from that point on.
However I have to say it: Quarantine has given me amazing gifts. I’ve been able to spend time with my parents before college. Now when I leave, my parents will have gotten to cherish their last few months with me. I’ve learned how to bake and cook better and just recently made crepes. I’ve taken better care of my body and made healthier decisions when eating. I’ve exercised extensively more and found new interests such as paddle boarding. Zoom has become a daily hangout room for my friends at night and I’ve created closer bonds with many of my friends even though we aren’t physically together. I found my roommate for college at Fordham and formed a virtual group of friends from across the country who I am excited to spend the next four years with. Without this extra time I would have never been able to meet these people. I decided to apply for my favorite TV Show Survivor and whipped up an audition video to send in. I found a new definition of love and learned to deal with heartbreak. I started writing music and even wrote a Coronavirus song. I even was able to start learning how to play the electric guitar and picked up the piano again. I thought this pandemic was bringing out the worst in me, but in reality it was showing me what my passions are and was maturing me. After seeing the mishaps in Washington DC, I am ecstatic to get involved in our political climate and create change. I am invested in fixing many of the problems that I see and create a new generation of peace in our government to be able to work more efficiently. I will work to not let the world stop again.
Overall, I appreciate what I have and am grateful for all the experiences I was given before Covid-19. I have an adjusted mindset and will never take a moment for granted because I never thought that the world could just stop.