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QuaranTEEN Voices


Tasnia Shahrin


The teenage years of a person’s life are considered to be the most awkward and misunderstood phase of their personality growth. Within these few years, teenagers are exposed to some overwhelming external and internal struggles, such as major emotional fluctuations, social and parental forces, work and school pressure, etc.

So, it is quite intriguing to think about what these young minds are doing in an overwhelming time like this, when the entire world is under lockdown. Not only is this quarantine causing a big pause in their social lives, but it is also forcing them to find their own creative ways to stay sane and motivated. To address this curiosity, this is how teens across the nation are spending their days behind locked doors.

 

Reading

To take care of their mental and emotional states, many teens are often bingeing on books and book-related photography. This is exactly what Tabassum Irin Zaman, a nineteen-year-old Bookstagram-er, has been doing. As this pandemic has postponed her board exams, she is spending her isolation by indulging in the YA romantic/comedy genre.

She says, “I am obviously going to use the extra time to revise properly, but I wanted to be around the lovely community of Bookstagram.” With over three thousand followers in her Instagram account (@whatirinreads), she is using her time to read and inspire others to read as well.

 

Baking

Deciding what the teenagers want to do with their future careers is a burning question that everyone around them asks. And this lockdown is making many teens ponder and take decisions about how they want to shape their lives after the world settles down. 

Such is the case of Miftahul Jannat, a proud eighteen-year-old, who has decided to practice the art of baking and take it to a professional level after the lockdown ends. She says, “I have become closer to my kitchen now more than ever. With so much time in hand, I am trying to increase my skills and even create my own recipes. After the situation becomes normal, I plan on having my own baking business through social media.”

As inspiring as her plans are, the support from her family is also heart-touching. She further says, “I am extremely grateful for my parents. When they see my ingredients are about to finish, my father takes the risk to go out for a while just so I can have my resources to practise.”

 

Journaling

Writing down one’s own thoughts is a very creative way to let out inner chaos. “Being trapped in a house does not mean your feelings should be trapped as well. Amidst so much negativity, it is really important to let it all out,” says fifteen-year-old Adib Reza. His hobby of journaling began during this quarantine. And he credits this as the only positive thing that has happened to him this lockdown. His routine is writing every night before going to bed, which not only helps him fall asleep with a clear head, but also acts as a handwriting practice session.

 

Poetry

Nineteen-year-old Tashfia Mehzabin began her first semester as an English undergraduate. As she was doing a course on “Introduction to English Poetry”, the lockdown caused it to end earlier than planned, thus depriving her of completing the syllabus. She says, “I am glad that I got to do this course, even if it was for just two months. Reading Shakespearean sonnets, John Donne’s metaphysical poems, etc. has made me fall in love with this genre. That is why I am writing my own poems and reading poetry books online to pass my time.” 

 

Rekindling

While some people are doing something skill-based, there are many teens who are feeling trapped because of this sudden lockdown. Being used to attending schools and coaching centers almost every day, they are struggling with this confinement and are taking care of their emotions by communicating with their peers.

“I’ve never been locked up in the house for so long, and it feels like someone has just cut off my wings,” says fourteen-year-old Sarika Saiyara. When asked about her strategy to overcome her internal struggles, she says, “I also made an effort to reconnect with friends I lost contact with. It helped ease the guilt that I’m overreacting to the entire pandemic situation.”

With all that said, it does not truly matter what or how a teenager is dealing with this crazy lockdown. What matters is the enthusiasm and motivation of our teens across the nation to lead a normal life despite the chaos going around. Such courage is inspiring for all the grown-ups as it is something we all need to build in ourselves.

 


Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time.

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