Finding Meaning in the Seemingly Meaningless

After many months of online learning, the days have seemingly become one and the same.

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photo by D. Crickets

The absence of in-person school can feel like an endless cycle of monotony.

Maddie Harris, Staff Writer

Picture this: you’re looking out your bedroom window after hearing laughter—children’s laughter—coming from outside. You see kids in the street, running around, playing ball with their parents, and your neighbors walking their dogs down the street. Not a mask in sight. The pandemic has finally slowed, and most of the population has received the vaccine.

It’s summer once more—no more remote learning, no more work, and no more lectures. You finally feel at peace and full of happiness. Isn’t it great? The world has returned to normalcy. Then, you hear an alarm.

You wake up, pick up your phone, and look at the date. It’s still January. You check the time. Five minutes until the first period begins. You wonder, “when will it all be over?

The life of a teenager nowadays is as far from normal as it can be. In fact, we’ve lived this life for almost a year now, and it’s beginning to become the new normal. Waking up just minutes before class begins, we check-in to online school physically, but rarely mentally. Sitting behind a screen in the solitude of home all day, we wonder how long this will last. When there will be more to do than turning in assignments by 11:59 PM?

The school day concludes, and you are left with a seemingly endless amount of work. You feel more stressed now than you ever did when school was in-person. When they’re still able to occur, athletes head to practice. The ones who are permitted are nowhere near what they used to be. Masks and social distancing… everything nowadays has a great emphasis on distance—distance from friends, school, and the life we used to live. 

You are up until the last possible moment, scrambling to turn everything in by the deadline and not even caring if it’s finished. All that matters to many students is that work is in by 11:59 and that the grades are in the grade book. Motivation is lost, and stress is on the rise.

It may be a new year, but the same problems from the last have followed us.

The pandemic has yet to slow enough for life to feel normal again. There are constantly new guidelines—stores and schools open and close. It seems as if every day is the same, with nothing new or exciting to occur upon awakening each morning. You wake up, do school, do homework, and hardly have time to do anything else before it is time for the next day to begin.

We are all focused on the unknown—what the future may look like and when things will become normal once more.”

Many students struggle with this—the idea that every day is beginning to fuse into the same mundane pattern of events. This mentality makes it very difficult to remain focused on our daily activities, such as schoolwork. Turning in assignments and focusing on lectures feels impossible and lacking importance.

We are all focused on the unknown—what the future may look like and when things will become normal once more. This makes it hard to live in the moment and focus on daily tasks, which are seemingly pointless to many. It is increasingly difficult to remain hopeful, as it seems that we are constantly falling further and further down a dark hole with no escape. Work builds up and seems to close in on us, pushing us further and further down.

The truth is, there is no way for us to control many of the things that are occurring in our world today. But there are many ways we can pull ourselves further out of the hole and see some light in the world.

Instead of dreading each day and feeling as though there is nothing to look forward to, make something to look forward to. In times of uncertainty, the best thing we can do is focus on the things we know will remain constant, such as school. Now that we are at home much more often, this is a great time to start being more productive and focus energy on excelling in school. No matter what happens, school will always remain, so being focused and determined to work hard can help keep us occupied and keep our minds off of the issues around us.

Though daily life seems to be the same cycle of events each day, this will not remain forever and it is important to try and break out of that negative mentality. Adding new steps into daily routines, such as making new recipes, calling up friends, or working out can change up our days and remind us there are things to look forward to. During this new year, we can set goals and make plans to keep us excited and looking forward to new and exciting things, even when it seems like nothing exciting is occurring. Now more than ever, it is crucial to keep an open mindset and learn to try and experience new things, breaking boundaries and negative mindsets that take control of us. 

There will come a day where we no longer have to worry. When that day comes, we must take advantage of new situations and experience new things and ways of life. Instead of worrying about what no longer remains or what is uncontrollable, we can now focus on new things and the things we never had time for. Life is all about what you make of it, and we can all choose to make the most of it.