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covid-19 changed me

On the drive home, I did some thinking and my mind time-machined back to the past to when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented due to the outbreak of Covid-19. In that period, I think I grew a lot and without that period I do not think I would push myself beyond my limits even more. Standing on another viewpoint, I guess the whole pandemic despite its cons, had its pros of tough love on me.

Growing up, I was the most playful student and I always studied last minute and barely did notes. Effort was there throughout my schooling years, and I did care about my academic results, but I always had the idea in mind that because I am active in my extracurriculars, and that I am not top-student smart, there is no point of expecting flying colours as a result. Due to that, I had always been an average student. My academics results and year-end reports were decent, and teachers never really complained about me because I did not fail their subjects, but I did not get many A’s too.

That mindset and behaviour continued up until MCO, I was stuck at home, and I was not as participative in my extracurriculars as before. During that time, the worry of my future started to fire up as I realised that to obtain the best scholarships offered, I would need to be an all-rounder. Which meant that extracurriculars was not enough. It hit me that to be an all-rounder, school results and reports plays a vital role in producing a appealing transcript. With that in mind, I started to be far more productive and attempted to be the best version of myself despite the worldwide restrictions.

The schedule I created for myself was attending my online classes while studying the notes I have created and reviewing my lessons after. Prior to attending classes, I would try to read about the chapter that is to be taught so I would have a better image and would not be so puzzled when class began. Other than that, I wanted to instill a healthy lifestyle to have good balance too. That drive drove me to exercise and workout every single day and eat the healthiest greens in my fridge as well as listening to the most empowering podcasts to expand my knowledge on our current society.

Despite the circumstances of being stuck at home, I was glad that everything seems to be going swell. On the flip side though, I failed to see the warning signs of my anxiety and depression escalating as the Covid-19 cases rose drastically and significantly causing isolation for society to be longer. This sudden increased cycle of anxiousness and low mood made me glued to the bed 24/7 and lose a lot of weight as I lost my appetite. At the same time, I did not feel like talking to anyone who lived with me and often lock myself in my room or my bathroom if I wanted even more privacy. It is odd that it all came without me noticing as one day I would be completing another workout from YouTube and eating a healthy English breakfast, to the following day where I am hyperventilating for no apparent reason on my bathroom floor. Thinking back now, I guess the best phrase to describe my situation was that I isolated myself from isolation. If that makes sense.

As we are lifted from the whole pandemic at this present time and I am here typing away on my keyboard, I would say there are certain aspects have changed about me as a result from the whole world problem that occurred. One being that I became less sociable, and I get more anxious meeting new people or being surrounded by people I am not too close too. Big crowds tend to startle me, and peer pressure became a huge worry as well. Over and above that, I became quieter than usual whenever I interacted with people because it just felt like the world in my head was so much louder and I did not have a voice, or I could not seem to segregate my thoughts orderly. As a consequence, I just did not speak as much because I could not formulate a sentence without jumbling my thoughts all in one. This is unusual for me as far as I am concerned as this was the complete opposite from who I was before.

Another aspect I have learned is that behind every person who enjoys their own company, is a person who had to learn how. Correspondingly, part of me enjoyed more time by myself and I really learned how to be alone and appreciate me time. Although, it might not sound so good for some, I don’t think that is a very bad change as I find myself healing more with the silence by myself without having to worry about the judgement coming from the outside world. Sort of an indirect way of escaping that is enjoyable too.

Sitting at my desk now, these are just some factors about myself that I can tell have changed over the recent years.  There are probably more that I have overlooked but it does not really matter does it? Currently, I am trying to shift my focus more to the present as I regularly find myself dwelling on the past and get worked up about how much I have changed and deciphering whether it was a decent or unsatisfactory change. Perhaps living in the moment would be a better option as what many have mentioned, as it provides the opportunity to engage in the universe’s creations and what it has in store for you in life. Whether good or bad, it does not matter, because we would have the ability to flourish to the person, we are proud of being.

Submitted by: Natalie C.


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