Quarantine Gave Me Something

It’s not the most outlandish statement to make when I say none of us are exactly thriving in quarantine. Lifestyle changes have hit us too fast, especially for us college students trying to pave their way to the real world.

My experience during mid-March was a bit unique: I had been hospitalized for something completely unrelated to COVID-19 right after my weekend trip to New York City. I went in on that Wednesday with the rest of my semester in Athens, a job, commencement, and a plan for my future, and I left on Friday the Thirteenth with none of it. It was as if I had entered the Twilight Zone and never left.

After that, everything got boring. Classes are currently insufferable, although I can tell most of my professors are trying their best. Learning online without a schedule or a professor in front of me to teach me the material can really nag at the lazy side of my personality. And as a second semester senior with the optional satisfactory grading system, it’s becoming easier and easier to ignore my Catmail inbox and focus more on my Animal Crossing island.

But one thing that has been good for me during quarantine has been my increased self-esteem, which honestly is something I never thought I would say. I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and recognized the person staring back. I haven’t been able to say that for the better part of a decade. I’ve worn makeup nearly every day since seventh grade, believing that enough of it would make me believe that what I saw in the mirror would finally be adequate. But it has been quarantine, the constant days of me existing as I am, without makeup, that has shown me my face again, and I can actually recognize me without makeup. I think that’s pretty cool.

I’ve also been working out regularly. That’s another thing I couldn’t say before all this happened. It does wonders for my self-esteem as well — making me feel good about the body I’m in that otherwise just sits on my bed and watches TV.

I was so concerned about my well-being going into quarantine, especially after being in the hospital, but instead of breakdown, I got a personal breakthrough. The victories I’m experiencing are small, and to the outside world they may seem pretty trivial, but I’m amazed at myself and how I’m able to better myself in an environment that I believed I would have otherwise tarnished in.