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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Mask

Finding Me — Connecticut

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

I grew up in a place where school was always a priority and getting good grades meant happy parents. It might not have been my parents’ intentions, but it is how it felt growing up in my household. “Try your best and we will be proud of you” was the line I always heard. In no way are they bad parents: I'm so thankful for them always being there for me and supporting me no matter what, but this was just the perception I had growing up. I had good grades in school, but I never really had any time to sit and think if where I was made me truly happy. School felt like a chore at times, with an ongoing schedule of homework, sports, school, and sleep. Sure, I hung out with friends, but I never focused on myself and how I could make myself happy. It’s still the same in a way, but quarantine really changed us all in ways we never thought of.

It all came quick, the closure, the quarantine. It felt like we were trapped in a movie, and we couldn't get out. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies, just not this one. We all had a few weeks to ourselves and lots of time to think. My school even stated that we’d be back in two weeks! Two weeks turned to two months, and two months into almost a whole year. At first, at home with nothing to do, we all went crazy and were bored out of our minds. But after a month my school started to get something planned and we started online work. This was where I fell short.

As someone who struggles with ADHD almost every day, it’s hard for me to stay on task and just “do my work” when told. My mind wants to work, but it just doesn’t register that I have to. With this newfound online schedule, my grades started to drop and I soon found myself with all F’s. I was disappointed in myself, but I didn't know how to force myself to want to work and dig myself out of the mess I'd made., As we received more and more homework, the days seemed to get longer. I spent so many nights crying myself to sleep thinking, “Why can’t my mind just work the way I want it to? Why am I like this?” I felt alone, with nobody to tell or turn to. I started sinking into a hole and dreaded the person I’d become. I didn’t know how to ask for help, or how to face myself and my problems. I stayed in my room as much as I could, because I didn’t want my family to see me like that. My mindset became toxic to me and the more I was left to myself, the further I spun away from my family. I lost friends, and I lost the bond with my family I once had. I needed a wake-up call, and I needed one fast. One night my parents burst into my room, and were furious with my grades. My grades had all dropped down to the lowest they could be, and my parents were mad. They took away almost everything I had, and I spent many nights feeling even more alone then I had been. After that drastic event, I realized I needed to fix who I had become, and become that diligent person I had once been.

It was hard at first: I spent long nights staying up until 1AM in the morning working on all the missing work I had accumulated. Night after night, I slowly dug myself out of the hole I had fallen into. I struggled a lot, and it was hard to put myself to work after sitting and doing nothing all day. But after about a month, my grades started to look up: the F’s turning into C’s and C’s into A’s. I still had some bad grades, but I was proud of myself for improving and getting back on track to where I wanted to be again. I started paying attention in school again, and actually had the motivation to want to learn. I even had some free time that I could finally spend with my family again without feeling like a burden. It took a wake-up call to realize the person I want to be is still inside of me, I just had to work to become her again.

It has now been almost two months since the fallout and I've realized that I am better than the person I used to be. I have grown and changed into a mature and responsible person, and I'm finally proud of who I am. I honestly wouldn’t be able to get to this state without the constant love and support of my family and friends, and even if they pushed me to do better in a different way than usual, I am so thankful for that. Quarantine has been a huge struggle for many people as it’s different from anything any of us have ever faced, but it has shaped my life in a way I will never forget, and has impacted me to be the best version of myself, and I'm proud of that.

— Mia Fieldman, 14

Weston, Connecticut


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