Discretion: Please note that this is all written by an introvert who is not looking for any argument. I also understand that most of you cannot bear quarantine any longer and can’t wait to go out. But give me a few minutes, and try to see within the life of an introvert.
Whether it’s high school or middle school, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we’ve all seen this: School drama. Some of us have been, unfortunately, at the center of it, some of us have played a role or been a part of it, and some of us have watched from the sidelines. As for me, I’ve been all three, and every single one is a nightmare for an introvert. Let’s face it, it’s tiring for all of us. It leads to us going home, hopping on the bed, hiding our face in the pillow, and thinking, “Does school drama ever end?”
As for me, being someone who gets stressed extremely easily, gets worked up about everything and anything, overthinks even the smallest details, and actually breaks down very easily, being in the center of any kind of drama is very overwhelming — it’s too much to handle. Constant drama has been the ideology of my school since 5th grade, and it’s gradually gotten worse, to the point I had actually started crying myself to sleep, and became very depressed.
On top of being a victim of high school’s unnecessary drama, I am into extra-curricular activities. I’m part of the following school clubs: Debate, Model United Nations, and football. Now, I know having a lot of ECAs is a good thing, but it wasn’t easy for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of you. No matter how much we enjoy trying to be outspoken, hyperactive, and do club activities, at the end of the day, we all have a limit to how much we can do, and none of us are machines.
Why don’t I just leave the clubs? Once I leave, I let go of the devotion I have towards any of them, and if I ever want to come back in later on, I’ll be far behind everyone else. And that is why I have to continue working hard, and hoping I will magically get a break someday.
To add to all of our woes, lastly, comes the extremely difficult and never ignorable — our education. This is the one factor I’m sure every single one of us will be able to relate to. We’ve all sunken under the pressure of our studies. I was supposed to give my A levels this year (which recently got cancelled), and all I can say is — it’s mind-wrenchingly hard and it completely takes the soul out of you.
When all of this fell on my shoulders, I could find myself saying these phrases numerous times: “I need a break”, “I’m tired”, “Not just physically tired, I’m mentally and emotionally tired, too”, “I can’t do this anymore”, “I just want to run away”, “I want to be away from social media, and if possible, from people in real life too”.
And finally, here it is — the magical break I’ve always needed, this quarantine period.
The quarantine first started with me studying day and night for my A levels, only to learn later that it got cancelled. For a while, I felt lost. I had spent the past one year studying, and all I did the entire quarantine insofar was study, too; I had also laid back on my ECAs just for my A levels. With all of my effort coming crashing down, I still kept studying — but I didn’t push myself to my limit anymore — just to feel sane. As time went by, I realised this is what I’ve always needed, and I can finally focus on everything I couldn’t due to my O and A levels.
I started practicing the piano again — adjusting my numb fingers to the keys was hard, but I’ve finally gotten there, and now I’ve started enjoying music again. I had learnt the guitar back when I was 11 years old, and did not remember any part of it, but I’ve embarked on my journey to relearn it. Rejoining the music world has made me feel so alive; it’s made me feel the way I never did before — not tired with life.
I started reading story books again which had been my favourite hobby from a young age, but of course, for the last couple of years, I only had time to read textbooks. I had forgotten the smell of books and the delight of reading Stephen King or Colleen Hoover.
Being a writer had been a dream of mine from a young age, therefore I had decided to finally give time to my passion and start writing again. However, coming back to it after ages, I was quite confused about what to write. Then I found an old notebook, where I had written story ideas from before my O levels because I didn’t have time to write them then. This was the perfect inspiration to finally get my hands to start moving again.
I’ve also started painting and sketching again — the brushstrokes feel like a warm spring breeze, it feels content.
Quarantine has given me a chance to do everything I’ve ever wanted without feeling guilty. At the end of this period, I know I will come back to the outer world with a fresh mind and a new outlook, and I’ll know that I am not the person I was before this period.
Quarantine is an opportunity to start reliving your old hobbies, and rekindling your lost passion. It is a time to focus on yourself, and unleash the inner you. It’s time to stop riding on your horse, and to start running by yourself. Make use of what you have now, you won’t get an opportunity like this again.