The only thing that’s been on my mind these days is my college applications. I just feel the weight and stress of everything so heavily now — senior fall is no joke.
And what makes it even worse is that it feels so lonely. I’m not in school to see my friends, so we can’t commiserate or bounce ideas off each other or just brighten our days with each other’s company. It feels so isolating to be at home during this process, and it feels like there’s no support system in place. Nobody else. Without seeing my friends every day and talking to them, it feels like I’m the only one going through it. I know I’m not, but it feels that way.
This isn’t how I expected my senior year to go. I’ve been looking forward to it since I entered Boston Latin at 12 years old when I was a completely different person. I’ve been looking forward to that feeling of growing up and finally completing this high school journey with my friends. It doesn’t feel right to do it over Zoom.
It doesn’t feel real that I’m a senior, or that I’m graduating in June, or that next year I’ll be a legal adult living away from home on the campus of a school — and I don’t even know which one it will be yet. COVID froze me in a time bubble, so it still feels like March. I can’t be a senior, getting ready for the next chapter of my life. No way. It’s terrifying.
Over the course of this quarantine, the amount of reality television that I consume has reached “concerning” levels. My days are filled with the misfortunes of terribly mismatched couples on “90 Day Fiancé” and the calm drama of “Welcome to Plathville.”
There’s something about watching reality TV that is so calming. It’s a break from the stress of everything else that’s going on in my life and in the world. For 45 minutes at a time, I can watch other people have misunderstandings and fights and drama without having to put any of myself out there. It’s an escape.
Something about “90 Day Fiancé” specifically is so appealing. Maybe it’s the stakes of the show, the fact that these couples need to get married within 90 days or the visiting partner will have to leave the country, or the fact that the cultural differences are often so glaring and obvious that the marriages are doomed to fail from day one. Whatever it is, I’m hooked.
Maybe it’s stupid to get fixated on reality TV with everything going on in the world and even in my life specifically, but I have. I also use it as background noise when I’m cleaning my room or doing homework sometimes. It’s not “feel-good” in the traditional sense, but it’s good for a laugh and raising spirits when you’re having a bad day.
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of all time, so of course, I’m pretty disappointed this year about not being able to celebrate. I love candy and dressing up and seeing my friends and watching scary movies and every single thing that comes with Halloween. Even though I won’t be able to go out or do anything this Halloween, I still have a costume bought from Spirit in my closet that I’ll probably end up wearing. The purpose of the costume? Who knows.
The bright side is the autumn weather. I love fall more than anything; it’s definitely my favorite season. I love the way the weather is now — slightly chilly and cool, overcast and cloudy. The leaves are changing, so when I look out my bedroom window I can see the red and orange trees lining the street.
There’s a certain energy in the air in the fall that I love that’s different than other seasons. It makes you want to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa, or tea and a sweater. It feels crisp and clean. Even though I’m trapped in my house, it’s comforting to have that familiar change of season. It’s cleansing in a way, almost shedding past stressors and things that are bothering me as the world around me slowly shifts into autumn.