Growing in a Pandemic

“It’ll never be as easy as it was during kindergarten nap time,” Brooklyn Rice, sophomore said. Growing up means figuring out how to simultaneously be a student, a friend, or even a student-athlete. Generation Z, which operates primarily through the internet, is emerging into functional members of society.

“With a bunch of people online, you realized who would still call you and text you while doing online school,” Rachel Casey, junior said, “And some fade away because you’re not with them anymore.”

Friends who reach out more, make a comparative difference, than someone who feels obligated for convenience alone. Meanwhile, some friendships haven’t survived this year, only to intensify the anxiety and depression that grows from loneliness. In which case, regarding the world’s remoteness, depending on a single relation to sustain a social life is bound to be detrimental. Hence, having a healthy network of people is so vital for social creatures.

“I made that mistake of isolating myself and only hanging with one friend all the time, but also you have to make the effort as well to be friends with someone,” Casey said, “Don’t just put all of it on them or start slowly losing them. Cause you really don’t know how long they will be in your life.” 

For emotionally conscious beings, ending a friendship is intricately perplexing as well as awkward.  Some can be aware of what each person is gaining from a friendship, or not, leading to a cumbersome situation. Empathetic personalities generally try to preserve a relationship, however, for most people, it is natural to shift and thus evolve. Leaving a past relationship and living in the present with purpose, aligns with one’s personal development. Like so, receiving reality’s takeaways and adapting for a brighter future is the ultimate mission of a lifetime. For the ambitious type, compulsory goals such as, maintaining exemplary grades in school or improving a skill to a high standard can be demanding, yet rewarding.

“It’s hard to be a student-athlete with all these sports activities going on,” Casey said, “When I’m at a tournament I still always try to get as much school work done as I can. Even if it means doing it in the car, on the way to my tournaments.”

The tiresome dedication and drive to reach academic success, while being a committed teammate, is one that assimilates discipline to go on despite challenges. The chance of attending a university that considers applicants in sports is a prominent and unifying goal. In turn, results in a burdening expectation on athletic students trying to maintain both academic and physical demands. Picturing an ideal path, and figuring out one’s purpose in life is baffling, but finding resolution within the unknown can be just as productive.

“I just kinda think everything happens for a reason,” Rice says, “In five years the things you know, do and struggle with now, won’t matter in five years.”

By Gabby Plasencia, staff writer

Feature photo by Riordan Tiller

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