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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Mask

Self-reflecting During a Pandemic — Algeria

It was the 12th of March, a typical Thursday, but to us college students it meant the weekend we'd been waiting for during the week: the first case of COVID was declared just a few days earlier. Despite that, many people continued living their lives as if nothing was going on. I arrived at home and to my surprise, the spring break was declared a week earlier and lockdown started. For the first few weeks, I was enjoying this break and spent my time watching animes and drawing. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to rest from the studying exhaustion as we engineering students study various subjects and barely have time to do anything else, our time table is full and we are given homework consistently.

Lockdown was all fun until the after Ramadan period, I felt empty. I wanted to do something but I didn't know what it was until the idea of creating an Instagram page popped into my head, that's when I created Algerian STEM girls. I've always loved supporting girls, and more than that, supporting girls in STEM fields since I myself am a STEM girl. Reading about different aspects of science was always a pleasure to me, and being able to enjoy this knowledge with many people is a blessing, so I started by brainstorming ideas that I want to speak about, and next looked for reliable sources to gather information and reformulate it in a simpler way and then post the final product. Being a procrastinator, I always wanted to do things but I kept delaying them thinking I had time or I'll do it later once I'm free, but a pandemic seems like the right time to start reflecting about yourself, who you are, what your goals are and things you're passionate about. What we can learn from COVID is that life is precious and we only live once, so why don't we make the most of it?

As I mentioned, creating a STEM-related page allowed me to rediscover myself. I don't even imagine doing this if we weren't in the middle of a global pandemic. I had enough time to think deeply about the things I want to do, and I believe everyone can do the same. COVID-19 is a chance for all of us to find our true selves, and do the things we're good at to make the world a better place!

And as for me, I will continue sharing knowledge with people and maybe organize some workshops in the future.

— Lena Fedda, 18

Algiers, Algeria


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