🏠😷🦠 Life As A QuaranTEEN 🦠😷🏠 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding COVID-19
Throughout my time in quarantine, I’ve been struggling to stay connected with my friends. My friends and I have been staying connected on a day to day basis by texting in a group chat...
Group FaceTime and Zoom calls have also been a great way to talk to my friends and be able to see their faces. However, my absolute favorite way that I’ve been able to stay connected to them is by actually getting to see them in person. My friends and I have had several social distancing outings. We met at a parking lot near our school and parked our cars in a circle so we could sit in our trunks and talk to each other while also staying socially distanced. More recently, we met up for a socially distanced picnic. It was so fun to be able to do a seemingly normal activity like having a meal with my friends in the midst of all of the innormalacy around us. As the summer goes on and we maintain vigilance in social distancing to protect our relatives, we are always looking for new ways to be able to be together without physically being near each other.
It’s been rather difficult to stay connected with my friends who live out of town that I was expecting to see for in-person meetings during the pandemic. We’ve used social media and zoom calls to talk to each other and stay connected with how our lives are going. I’ve even become pen pals with some of my out of town friends since we have more free time now. It’s been a bit hard to do work with them virtually but through document sharing on Google Drive and screen sharing on Zoom we have been able to talk more now than we were able to before since we had less school work to do and now have fewer things to do in general. While it has been sad to not be able to see them in person, I’m glad that we’ve been able to stay connected through all of the new technological innovations we are seeing now. Even though I’ve had some great times of staying connected to my friends, it has been hard to keep in communication with them sometimes. So, I also wanted to know what other people are doing to stay connected to their friends. Here’s what they said:
“Snapchat, messaging and animal crossing” -Abby, SMMHS
“Socialization during COVID-19 has been super hard, but I stay connected with friends and family through weekly Zooms and text messages.” -Zoe, Memphis Student
“Lots of FaceTiming and group chats.” -Sophie, Red Bank High School
“LOTS of texting.” -Trinity, CCA
“I’m not.” -Caroline 1, SMMHS “Text, but I’ve tried to do a couple drive-bys”- Ethan, SMMHS
A lot of students have expressed similar ways of staying connected and have experienced similar problems in communicating with their friends and peers. It’s definitely gotten a lot harder to stay in touch with friends now that we’re in summer since we are no longer seeing them in online zoom classes for school.This is definitely uncharted territory for many of us, so it may be best to turn to the experts to see how best to communicate with our friends while social distancing. Here are some tips to stay connected from mental health professionals in the community (these responses have been paraphrased from our interview series “Let’s Get Real” on IGTV):
“Find new ways to celebrate milestones. For instance, have a giant zoom birthday party. You can invite way more people and imagine all of the cool things that you could have done (even if they aren’t realistic).” -Stephanie
“Stay in contact with people who make you happy.” -Sarah
“Social Media has been a great way for my grandaughters to stay connected, so they’ve barely missed a beat.” -Wayne
Regardless of how you choose to stay in touch with your friends, it is essential to keep talking to your friends during this time. Whether you just call them once a day to rant about the way your Dad chews or you text all throughout the day,reminding yourself and your friends that there are people there for you is essential to maintain your mental health and brighten your mood during this uncertain time.