What does it mean to be an optimist during the COVID-19 pandemic?


Sam Whitney, CDC

It is hard to keep a positive attitude whilst in quarantine.

Caroline Sears, Activities Beat Director

Our entire childhoods, we are convinced of conflicting messages about what being a teenager would be like. Some say that “they would be the best days of our lives,” while other adults told us that “being a teenager would be “awkward” and described it as a four-year sentence.

I have constantly been torn between being an optimist, realist, and pessimist. I used to idealize high school. But when I got here, I came to the conclusion that it was

just something that I had to get through. Then this year, the unthinkable happened.

 We were suddenly stuck in our homes as everything we used to worry about was forgotten. The last day of school or the school musical were not priorities when it came to keeping our friends and family healthy. “Normal” seems so far away. We are living through an abstract time. So abstract that it is warping our views on what normal even is. When we say we wish everything was back to normal, I believe we really just miss everyday routines and predictable headlines. 

This resurrected my struggle. I could not choose between believing that everything will be back to normal soon and “at least”s. From at least we have time with our families, to what if we never go back and the world will forever be isolated. 

However, the past two weeks have brought me clarity. We do not need to put labels on our outlook on life. We can all just be -ists. It is not about how you see the future as positive or negative, but it is about how you choose to change at the moment. There is truly no way to foresee the rest of the year, the rest of our high school journey, or past that. The fact is that all we can do is embrace the moment, no matter how devastating or purely joyful it may be. 

Right now, it feels impossible to find a silver lining. And if there is one, it cannot bring us comfort in this time of crisis. However, understanding that can. Simply making it through the day is all we can ask for because, eventually, things will return to predictable.