Quarantine has undoubtedly been a strange, new experience for everyone, and everyone is reacting differently to it.
Fortunately for me, my quarantine began while I was still completely my semester of college. I wasn’t doing it in person, but from home online. While it was nothing like the actual experience of college, it still took up a significant amount of my time, and I was quite occupied mentally. During this time, if I was at home and courses were online, I wouldn’t have left home all that much anyway.
But then the semester ended and my experience of quarantine become similar to most other people. I had and have so much time. It’s just bizarre to think about. At the moment, it’s been about a month since the semester has ended, and I’ve honestly not done all that much. Now, I don’t blame myself all that much for not being the most productive: it’s summer, and I just got done with my semester. And it’s not like there’s much to do. So, I’m taking it easy, maybe a little too easy, but it’s alright. I worked hard over the semester, I deserved the break.
But now that I’ve completed a month, I’m facing two major emotions: stress and frustration.
I don’t technically have anything to stress about. Of course there’s a viral pandemic, people are dying, but on an individual, personal level, I don’t have anything to stress over. But I’m stressed. What am I planning to do for the next few months? I have no idea what’s going to happen, nor do I have any control over these larger events. And so the lack of certainty, knowledge and focus is stressing me out. I’m trying to get an internship – who knows if that will work out? And even if it does, it will take a while. Until then, what?
Frustration is a bit more complex. Yes, not leaving the house and not knowing what the future holds can be frustrating, but that’s not what’s getting to me. A socially accepted social theory – yes, I’m aware I’ve repeated words – is that around different people, you’re a different person. And I very much conform to this theory. I’m a different person with these friends, different person with those friends. I’m a different person with professors, different with waiters. I’m a different person in elevators and I’m a different person alone. Switching between all these different people is what keeps me on my toes. I don’t have to attention span or patience to be one person for too long.
But the quarantine is really pushing my limits with this. Right now, I’m really just switching between two people: 1. with parents and 2. alone but parents’ home edition. There’s no access to the different person around trees or different person around new people. And being just these two people is exhausting. I won’t say that I’m feeling trapped, but rather I just feel stuck between these two variants of myself.
I’m really missing the other editions of myself.
And so that’s the quarantine experience for me. If that makes any sense.