Life in Quarantine: Mariam Alashmawi, 9

During this time, I’m sure all of us have felt extreme boredom due to the amount of free time that we have on our hands. This pandemic has forced us to socially distance ourselves away from other people. However, it’s not as bad it seems. With the free time I’ve been given, I have focused on myself a little more. Due to my hectic schedule and keeping my grades up, it seems that I’ve distanced away from my true self. At school and home, I was always busy thinking about how I was perceived by everybody, even family. I put other peoples’ feelings first and tried to make people laugh by being as obnoxious and outgoing as possible. I always thought that was my “true self,” but since the self-isolation, I think I found my true self. With busy schedules getting in the way, I would never have time for the hobbies I joy, such as dancing and singing to music with my sisters even though we’re terrible at it, playing card games with my brother, painting with my dad, gossiping with my mom about things that won’t matter in a couple of years, and reading books I haven’t got the chance to read. Books hit different when you don’t have to read them for a grade, ya know? Anyway, the point of this quarantine isn’t to stay in bed all day or eat a large pizza by yourself; it’s to establish your relationship with yourself and your family. With the time we are given, let’s not waste it being lazy and negative thoughts and regrets. Instead, we can use it to our advantage and spend it with ourselves and family and stay hopeful and positive.

And I always thought that was my “true self.””

— Mariam Alashmawi