I’m back! So much has changed since last March that I can’t help but document it here. It is so crazy to me that I was just sitting with a friend I didn’t know I would meet at a school I hadn’t yet picked last March reading all the things I’ve posted since 2015. It’s a miracle that I remembered while it is still March! I am now a freshman studying math, psychology, and sociology in the CMU honors program. I really never thought I would end up here, but I can’t think of a better place to be. I have met the most incredible people and experienced more support than I imagined possible from a school during a pandemic. Everyone here is focused and motivated; they all bring such incredible things to the table. I’m surrounded by the smartest people I’ve ever met, and they help me every day to be better. As far as the coronavirus, I think we can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel! CMU is running vaccination clinics, so I have been getting some volunteer hours in there, and I even got my first dose last week! I’m learning more about myself and the world every day and working on making the most of every situation. Maybe I will even remember to post once or twice more before the end of March!
Author Archives: Julia S.
Every streak of good days has to be broken up by a few bad ones. Today I felt some of the weight of this whole situation, and I let myself get caught up in the social media and news for hours. I talk to fewer people everyday because it feels like everything circles back to talking about the virus. It burns in the back of my mind with everything I do. My family is all on edge, as we are all fighting our own internal battles over what needs to be done and the uncertainties of the future.
In addition to this constant sinking feeling, I still have a constant question in my mind of where to attend college. I can barely decide what to eat for breakfast every day, so making such a huge decision is extremely difficult. The weight of it seems to grow with every day, and I keep telling myself just to decide so I can move on. I think I am afraid of how much this decision will affect the entire course of my life even if people try to tell me it “won’t matter that much.”
Well, technically it’s not the 26th anymore, but I’m willing to ignore that if you will.
I told myself today I would complete my week of work for an online class, so it is a mystery how I found myself cleaning out the attic. At least I was somewhat productive. It is amazing what can be found in a storage room that hasn’t been cleaned for 8 years. Every little thing either brings back a memory or confuses me because I have no memory of it.
Here is a list of some of the most fun stuff I found:
- Over $20 between old purses and winter coats
- A weird, small wooden elephant
- A bag filled with cool marbles
- Journals from past English classes– one predicted a really special friendship
- Birthday cards from when parties with 10 friends were normal
- Pen-pal letters
- Yearbooks from elementary school– we thought we were really funny
- Approximately 12000 pairs of fuzzy socks
- A glass rose from my great grandpa’s funeral
- Some My Little Ponies and a cool carpet that went with them
- Some books from the dollar store I was convinced I would read, but most of them are missing like half the pages
- A sweatshirt I’ve been looking for since 2017
- An abundance of wooden rulers
It’s always fun to reminisce a little, especially when I can see the end of this era of my life.
True Happiness- SOLSC-25/31
Happiness is a hard concept to quantify. All I know is that I can feel my heart swell and my brain relax. I try to savor the moment and give myself over completely to the bliss. The fear of losing the moment almost makes it more special. Everything else becomes less important for a second. Then, one thing changes, the feeling is lost, and only a slight smile is left in its wake.
This feeling is, today and every day, created by a dog draping itself across my lap and falling into a deep sleep.
I am drawing a blank when trying to choose a topic for today, so here is a quick list of some things that made me happy today:
- I actually completed some homework.
- I set a schedule of sorts to study for various AP tests.
- My mom and I set up this weird, all-in-one workout contraption that I played with for a while.
- My dog cuddled with me like a baby for almost an hour.
- My brother and I started watching the Office from the beginning. I have never seen it, but he has.
- I had a really respectful, mature conversation with a friend about a difficult topic.
- My family made pizza together.
This social distancing time is becoming more appealing as I try to make each day unique.
Sometimes the only productive things that get done in a day are a nice shower and a load of laundry, and that is okay. I’m learning to accept that every second does not need to be filled and every activity does not need to have long consequences. My to-do list lies untouched, but my mind stands refreshed. Maybe tomorrow will bring more excitement or maybe not. As of now, I’m feeling zen.
Here are some things I did today that I could have also done 10 years ago:
- Played Mario Kart with my brother
- Traded said Mario Kart time for him making popcorn (which he did not follow through on)
- Watched Frozen and fell asleep halfway through while cuddling with my mom
- Ate some ice cream
- Listened to the entire Taylor Swift Speak Now album with my brother– we sang every word.
- Choreographed a dance to Mine with my brother
- Texted my grandma about how much I missed her
- Stayed in my pajamas all day
Sometimes a little glimpse back in time is extremely refreshing.
My posts from last year, my snapchat memories, and my friends all take turns reminding me how different this year is from last. I was “living it up” in my post from last March– too busy to post. I expected this year to be no different, maybe even worse. In a crazy turn of events, we are now living through an extreme global crisis. I can honestly say, this is not the historic event I was planning to experience. An economic recession alone or some cool space travel would have been enough to feel like I would have some stories to tell future generations; COVID-19 goes beyond that.
Now, instead of scrambling to complete my exhausting coursework while leading an incredible tennis team to many victories and helping my community through multiple clubs, I am stuck in my house like the rest of America. I feel helpless and confused; there are very few answers about just how much of my senior year I will actually have to forfeit. Those feelings make me feel guilty, though. People are dying at alarming rates, and I am worried about one little walk to receive a piece of paper. My friend’s dad has cancer, and I am still upset that I might lose prom. I like to think that everyone can be upset about both the big and little things at a time like this, but it doesn’t make me feel better.
I also really want to help people. I want to watch people’s kids or get the elderly groceries or help students with the schoolwork their parents were not prepared to teach, but my dad falls in the “high risk” category, and I can’t be the reason he is affected by the pandemic. I can’t even visit my grandma– not that I would be the reason she would get it, as she still has to work every day– in fear that my psyche could not handle it if there was even a chance that I got her sick. It makes me angry that we have to sit back and wait out the sickness, but it hasn’t been all bad.
I will still have an open house, so I can make decorations and plans for that. The internet is extremely helpful in battling the loneliness of social distancing; even though we are losing some of the last time we have with our high school friends, some level of normalcy continues with social media.
That is a lot for today, and I’m sure most of these will be about this crazy time. After all, it’s not every day, year, or decade that the whole world seems to shut down around you!
Wow. Okay. So… I completely forgot it was March. I remembered and then I forgot. I think I’ve just been living so much for the future instead of the now that it all slipped my mind. There seems to be a reminder around every corner about working hard to reach a goal, but I don’t really have a goal. I’ve been told to have a goal for so long that now when people ask me what that is my only answer can be “work hard in case I find one.” I think this is true for a lot of people of my generation; there are so many opportunities that having more opportunities is an opportunity in itself. Well, I hope I can do some more of these before March floats away.
Happiness of the day ( I didn’t forget this!)
- Finally playing real tennis.
- Finishing my English presentation
- Finishing designing prom tickets
This day feels like the longest in history. It seemed as though my mind was dragging my body through every motion sluggishly. My muscles ache and my feet throb. I wonder: will I be able to continue this for days and weeks to come. Sometimes I think it’s all too much, but then the night comes. Sleep is finally free to envelope me in its soothing comfort.
Happiness of the day:
- Reading books to kindergartners
- Teaching hip hop dance to a new crew of girls
- Working through math problems with my brother