As I've been stuck in quarantine, I've had a lot of time to think. Here are some of the things that I have learned in quarantine:
1. Life is too short to be anything but happy.
We do not know what our lives have in store for us, and we do not know how much time we have left. I hope that we all have several decades ahead of us, but we should live like we don't. I cannot wait to get out of quarantine and just live. Go out the next time you feel like you'd rather just watch Netflix, text that person you're thinking about, hug everyone a little tighter, don't count calories or steps, roll the windows down, sing at the top of your lungs, and do not let anyone or anything keep you from living as fully as possible.
2. Tell people what you want them to know.
If you think that girl's smile lights up the room, tell her. If you're in love with that boy, tell him. If someone makes you want to be a better person, tell them. I want you to ask yourself, "What if I missed the chance to tell them and they never know?" I tell my friends all the time, especially when it's storming or I slip in the bathroom and I feel like being dramatic, how much I love them and miss them and how glad I am that they are in my lives. Do this. It makes everyone smile a little brighter. And they might not reciprocate very well—know the difference between a friend who has difficulty letting their guard down and a friend who isn't really a friend.
3. Carry the mindset of YOLO.
Pretty much an add-on to number 2, but you only live once. So, live fully and just go for it! The only person holding you back is yourself.
4. A lot of things are more important than straight As.
I am not going to tell you what, because it is different for everyone. Just don't let school keep you from leading a full and happy life.
Further, I've thought a lot about what I can do to better myself. Here are some things that I am working on in quarantine:
1. Not letting my thoughts immediately go to "everything is horrible" every time one thing goes wrong
I know it feels like the world is crashing in on us. I keep reminding myself that everyone is affected differently, that my feelings are valid but often overdramatic, and that my unexplainable emotions and mood swings are totally normal considering the circumstances. But I know that my whole day is not ruined when inconvenience strikes, just that second is disturbed. I just have to adjust and reframe my mind.
2. Accepting and loving my body
I have been underweight for probably my whole entire life. I may not be anymore, though, but I honestly have no idea how much I weigh. I grew up in environments where people talked behind my back about my weight. Some would tell people that I was too skinny and that there was no way I wasn't anorexic. Some would ask my friends if I was sick. Dancers, usually. I was told that I needed to eat more and that I was too skinny. I once had to sit down with a dance teacher who was worried about my eating habits and future path. To be perfectly clear, I have never had an eating disorder, nor do I have an eating disorder currently. I eat like a totally normal 18-year-old girl and metabolize like a totally normal 18-year-old boy, or something like that. But I still worry what others think about me based on my body. That's another thing I am working on—caring less about what others think.
But I still have your typical body image issues; I think everyone has body image issues to some extent. I am not as skinny as I once was, I do not have a six-pack like I once did, my legs don't totally straighten, my feet are biscuits (dancer things), I am not totally proportionate, and I feel way prettier with makeup. Stuff like that, stuff that is totally normal. But I know that I am healthy, that God made me the way that I am for a reason, and that my problems are small. I am grateful at the end of the day. But I am human, and social media, friends, and myself can often get to me, so I am working on accepting and loving myself more.
Other things I am working on include being bolder, making decisions (small and large), and not being afraid to speak my mind.