Ask Angel – Change and Normalcy

How do I feel a sense of normalcy at school when everything has changed? – Taylor Swift

Dear Taylor,

This is a tricky one! Unfortunately, normalcy is different for everyone, so it’s difficult to give you one definitive answer. However, I will try my best to give you some suggestions on how to make this year more comfortable and enjoyable.

For the grade 10s, they might feel that their transition from middle school to high school is not fully complete yet. Some teachers say that you aren’t really “high school students” until you live through the stress of exams. I know that it’s definitely going to be harder to feel normal when writing them for the first time after Covid is over. On the other hand, a senior’s “normal” high school experience is definitely very different from a grade 10’s experience, especially because of this.

“Throughout my four years, I have written a number of exams. Covid has created a new environment entirely. Because of this, it is difficult to create a standard for what is normal and what is not. School, exams, everything will be different when Covid is over.”

Keep in mind that everyone is struggling and is affected by this in different ways. My suggestion is that we all keep checking in with each other and ourselves to constantly ensure that our mental health is stable, because it’s just as important as our physical health. Quarantine was particularly hard for me, and my mom would remind me that while yes, it is bad, keep in mind that we are all in this together. You are not alone in this hard time, in fact, the whole world is feeling the effects of the virus. With that being said, there are some things you can do to help in feeling “normal” and comfortable. For example, we must continue to be physically active; I suggest walks through the neighbourhood. Although this might seem boring, I personally found enjoyment in going on walks when I would call my friends, so that’s another option.

Covid is also a good opportunity to discover yourself in ways only self isolation could do for you. I know I took the opportunity to finish things that I had started. Such as continuing to learn guitar and finishing puzzles. I also want to start raising more awareness about breast cancer, especially because it hits so close to home. This is why it is important to try and see the benefits of Covid as you can find new hobbies, interests and complete work that has been procrastinated!

Luckily, we live in a society that values technology and we are able to communicate through other means if we are not able to communicate in person. Friends are still able to enjoy activities together – just through a screen. Because of this, I strongly encourage the use of social media, Skype, FaceTime, and Teleparty. Teleparty, formerly referred to as Netflix Party, can be used on Netflix, DisneyPlus, Hulu, and HBO, and it synchronizes films for friends and allows for chatting throughout the videos.

While that is all good, personally, the one thing that will trump everything, would be face to face interactions while still maintaining a safe distance and wearing our personal protective equipment. Being in the same environment as someone gives me a certain comfort, knowing that they are experiencing the same things that I am. Not only that, but also I will not have to constantly ask them to repeat themselves because my wifi sucks. Although, we cannot stress enough that safety comes first, social interaction is necessary for humans. Just make sure to social distance and wear your masks.

In conclusion, I don’t really have one answer for you. Normal varies for everyone, no matter who you ask, they will all have different opinions and answers for you. Most importantly, be sure to check in with others to ensure your mental health and their’s are intact. I strongly suggest you try engaging in activities that will ground you to that constant you had before Covid, like facetiming friends, getting physical activity and finding new hobbies. I hope this helps you and don’t be afraid to ask me more questions, I will always be here if you need me! Also, we should definitely get paid for advertising Teleparty so well! (Sponsor us Teleparty please!!!!!)

Angel ❤