Simone, 13, is one of seven Girls Inc. teens who recently participated in peer conversations on the impact of COVID-19. Read the full teen exchange here.
How have you learned to connect with yourself and others in new ways?
I’ve learned how to keep myself calm in situations by going for a walk or listening to music. I also have been talking with friends on devices. I calm myself down.
How are you keeping yourself focused?
Usually I go into a quiet room and get the noises out and close my door so I don’t get distracted…I make sure I have the right materials [for homework] so I can do things properly and be focused.
What was most important to you before the pandemic?
Before the pandemic the most important thing was my school work – I was more determined to get good grades. I wanted to become something and get all As so I could go to a good college. And now, the homework assigned and homework in general is different since it is mostly online and. Before the pandemic friends were what I also cared about most and being able to see them face to face.
What are you worried about now that you weren’t worried about before?
When we go back to school what it might look like because it will be a lot different, when we have to wear masks and maybe sit farther apart in classes. Also I’m worried about how everyone is going to cope.
What keeps you engaged with Girls Inc. virtually?
It’s nice to be able to see people’s faces and interact with them [on Zoom calls]. Since we don’t get to go to Girls Inc. it’s nice to be able to learn the lessons and still be able to listen online. It’s also fun because of the activities, especially the art. Sometimes when my friends go to Girls Inc. [Zoom] meetings it makes me happier to see their faces. A lot of my friends don’t have FaceTme so it’s nice that we can all get together at Girs Inc. on Zoom. It’s good to be around nice people.
How is quarantine affecting your self-esteem?
It’s keeping me at home and making me bored and not as uplifting as I would be. I still get to talk to friends but it’s not the same so I’m different socially.
How are you staying positive?
I am watching movies I like, and listening music to calm me down and sometimes I draw landscapes like beaches and sunsets to get my mind off of things.
It’s nice to be able to see people’s faces and interact with them [on Zoom calls]. Since we don’t get to go to Girls Inc. it’s nice to be able to learn the lessons and still be able to listen online. It’s also fun because of the activities, especially the art.