So I’m 17 now. Kind of crazy, I have to admit. Most of my blogs center around writing, but today, I want to keep it about myself. Obviously that includes writing, but it won’t all be writing.
Crap, I’m 17. I don’t feel any different, but then, change is often gradual. I have changed in the past year, from January 2nd to now. I suppose you could say that was all while I was 16, though, so maybe 17 is merely a new beginning. I don’t feel different because I haven’t been given a chance to be different yet.
Regardless, this blog post will be about my life during 2020. I’m lucky in that Covid 19 hasn’t directly affected me or my immediate family. I mean, we’ve had to quarantine and shift our schedules around, but no one has caught it.
I wonder if it’s right to say 2020 was a productive year for me, especially since most of my time was spent sitting around the house. I did have a lot to do: Publishing a novel, writing more novels (more on that in a future post), practicing violin, recording music for choir, ballet, starting an ensemble club, general school stuff, writing short stories for competitions, and writing essays for colleges . . . On the other hand, I also had a lot of free time to binge a heck ton of shows. I presented it as doing “research” for my writing and replenishing my inspiration, but we all knew I just really liked watching Netflix.
Some more of my experimentation with having fun included playing online chess on chess.com, which I finally got a membership on—as a birthday gift—after a few months. I tried League of legends but stopped after getting to silver in ranked and realizing that everyone was still so damn toxic.
As for my social life . . . I reconnected with some old friends but mostly interfered with my sister’s. It’s fun messing with Abby—through conflict we bond.
Maybe I shouldn’t measure my productivity with the amount of time spent on work, though. Hanging out for hours on Twitch and Youtube doesn’t diminish my accomplishments. Yes, I could have done more, but a healthy definition of productivity shouldn’t include sacrificing mental health and just having fun to push myself to the limit.
It is as a friend of mine told me after I said, “College and life afterwards is where you get things done. High school is to get into college.”
She replied with, “High school is when you live your life.”
And she’s right. Even with all the Reddit I consumed, I was still under immense stress to meet deadlines and keep up grades. My novel could be selling better (buy Pantheon, please), and election stress didn’t help. I think I speak for all of us when I say we were going crazy at multiple points throughout the year.
That’s why it’s important to relax or shut your brain off at times, even if it means doing one-less application for a summer camp. Yes, there might be kids with a whole lot more on their plate, but that doesn’t invalidate your struggle or diminish how much you’ve done. Parents forget that sometimes. They compare you to others because that’s who you’re competing against, but they also bring you down in the process.
Make time for yourself; it’s a new year.