A Rude, but Subtle Awakening

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Photos by Zinia Francis

Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, California, at sundown.

These past months have had a series of highs and lows. It’s been hard for me to stay consistent in many ways. I often catch myself overthinking small things such as the way I speak, write and solve homework problems.  With the COVID-19 pandemic being the root of many of my problems in the present day, I noticed that I’ve been overwhelming myself with thinking about my future. Although, before the pandemic I wasn’t very social, I hate the fact that I don’t always have the option to decide if I want to be. I am not a very social person, I keep my circle small and the few people that I confide in bring me joy through these times.  Recently,  while speaking to one of my friends I told them that I had been attempting to do too many things at once resulting in not getting anything done. I realized that I was ironically stressing myself out trying not to stress which resulted in not completing anything. I came to the conclusion that staying inside everyday while doing online school has made school my entire life. School is important to me but the question that I frequently ask myself is this: What’s next?

I say to myself, “After school what can I do with my day, realistically speaking?” Then the only thing I come up with is doing homework so I have a better GPA which will make the chances of me getting accepted to a university greater. While confiding in my friend, they  reminded me of how unhealthy it can be to overwhelm ourselves. Hearing that from an outside source other than myself and my mother seemed to be a little more effective. My friend then offered to take me out of the house to clear my mind. After being away from my computer and my family,  just embracing the moment that I was currently experiencing, I felt a tremendous amount of weight lift off of my body. One particular outing my friend took me on was as simple as walking to the beach and sitting on the sand before sunset. Having experiences non-related to school has improved my capability to perform when solving problems. I appreciate the little things and experiences more than I have ever before. At this point in my life anything can happen, school shouldn’t be more important than myself.