Without A Warning
June 23, 2021

Born in 2005, one would assume that technology was what she opened her eyes upon. You could even argue that she’d choose her phone when given the chance to keep only one thing in life. But that isn’t always the case. Well, at least in her case, it wasn’t. She needed physical interactions. She longed for the sound of her friends laughing. She adored how pieces of metal would clank on each other in restaurants. She looked at children playing after class like it was the end of the world. She loved living, and she never imagined a virus getting in the way. Just like any normal person at her age, she was excited at first.

“Two weeks at most, this is just an early vacation,” she said with full conviction. Two weeks passed, the cases got worse, and she started getting worried.

“Hmm, 2 months. This is just a phase. We’ll get back to normal soon,” she uttered. Life, in fact, did not go back to normal. The cases kept coming, and she didn’t know what to do. She had no choice but to adjust. On August 24, 2020, online classes were implemented. From there, everything became digital. Learning was done through a screen, and interactions were far from what she had gotten used to. The after school hangouts she was so excited about got downgraded into joining Discord servers with her friends, watching movies together through video calls, and playing online games. Anything and everything she could do was limited to the four corners of her phone and laptop. The things that used to keep her sane started driving her crazy as living suddenly became so draining. To distance herself from these thoughts was all she could do. She was grateful for her supportive
family, understanding friends and the healthy community around her. She started accepting the fact that this was now the world she lived in. And that the only option was to adapt. She started becoming more aware of the issues around her, and by using her platform, shared posts to raise awareness, educated herself on more serious matters, and actually put more effort into prioritizing herself and her mental health. The twists and turns in her life are things she never thought would have happened, especially in a pandemic. It was a constant battle between her and the thoughts in her head, what she molded social media to be, rather than what it actually was, and how she viewed the world, rather than how the world should be viewed. It has been a rough ride for this girl, but when asked if she would want to experience all of it again, her response was,

“No. What am I? Out of my mind? Haha! But in all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. It would have been better if it had a warning, though.”

HONORABLE MENTION – SHORT STORY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
BEANDEAN
15 years old
Female

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