Are we missing out?

Many+teens+feel+that+they%27ve+missed+out+due+to+last+years+quarantine+

Veronica Iseminger

Many teens feel that they’ve missed out due to last years quarantine

Veronica Iseminger, Perspectives Editor

From missed promposals, to virtual goodbyes, or friendless graduation parties, it’s safe to say we’ve missed out. To say the least, disappointment has settled in from spoiled expectations. An entire year and then some, seemingly gone to waste, can you blame us? 

This shared disappointment weighs most heavily on members of gen z, as we’re under the idea that a huge part of our high school experience has been stripped away from us. Ever since we developed basic comprehension skills, adults have ingrained this impression in us that our best years will be in high school. That we should hold onto our youth as long as we can instead of rushing to grow up. But here we are, counting down the days to our adulthoods while being faced with a level of maturity that, in a way, our parents and grandparents didn’t have to face. Of course, there were other political divides and national tragedies alike for past generations, but they weren’t handed the pressure of needing to express their beliefs and opinions on social media platforms. Instead, us Gen Z-ers are in fear of backlash from our peers or getting put under the assumption that we supported something completely opposite from what we truly do.

 Our biggest fears from only a year ago seem miniscule in comparison to ours now. Rather than throwing a fit about whether or not someone will wear the same dress as us to formal, gossiping over who’s dating who and deciding where we’ll go for summer vacation, we’re having to worry about whether or not we can risk an hour seeing our own families that we haven’t visited in months. We’re struggling to grasp concepts at school from lack of motivation and trying to recover from the gaps of learning we’ve missed. Attempting to stay engaged in Zoom meetings and semester tests from our beds as we watched the rest of our world crumble around us wasn’t as easy as it may sound. Friendships and even long-term relationships fell out quickly and were by no means painless in the process.   

We like to reflect on this past year selfishly, but how could we not? A virus barging into our lives that we have no control over other than to accept it and adapt to whatever comes from it is about the least fair thing you could think of happening to you. No doubt it feels as if we’ve done nothing but lose a piece of ourselves through it. We wallow in this feeling and wish no more than to turn back time and relive a simpler life. But, what we’ve failed to realize is the good (yes, good!) that came out of this. We’ve learned not to take our loved ones for granted, how to succumb to future changes and pandemics and to maybe rethink who our real friends are and how we like to be treated. In a way, we’ve gotten closer with ourselves. We got a slap of reality and from that, know we can succeed. We all grew up and grew up for the better.