By Sophie, 21, New Hope, Pennsylvania
I go to college in Maine, and when my college got shut down because of COVID-19, I drove home to my childhood house in New Hope, Pennsylvania. I’ve been here quarantining with my three sisters and two parents and dog. I’m still finishing up this semester of classes, so I have spent some of my time having zoom class meetings, and some time doing asynchronous work as well, like watching pre-taped videos from my professors. With so much free time, I feel like I’ve been able to put the time into each class that I want, but maybe wasn’t as able to while at school.
Aside from school, my friends and I have a weekly zoom ‘hangout’ each Wednesday night. I’ve really enjoyed that form of social connection, even though we are all sad to not be able to hangout in person. I’ve also spent time going on walks with my family and working out in our makeshift gym in the basement. Finally, I’ve enjoyed watching the Great British Baking Show, and completing two puzzles!
I think that Gen Z has been known to be a generation that embraces progressive politics and ideas, but I think that this global health crisis has cemented that as a general theme throughout many in my generation. I’ve been able to spend more time listening to podcasts (such as The Daily and Pod Save America), and it’s been nice to be more politically informed, but also worrisome as much of the daily news is negative. A few of my friends plan to work on Senate campaigns in Maine this summer, and another one of my friends works closely with a hospital in Maine to fundraise. These friends have inspired me, and I think they are representative of the type of generation that Gen Z is. I think we will be even more conscious in the future about how voting can seriously affect the lives of people in this country.
Finally, I have been thinking a lot about consumerist culture during this time. Having to weigh whether a trip to the store is ‘essential,’ as well as weigh the risks of infecting others or bringing the virus into my house, has made me consider what purchases are really necessary. I think that this brings intentionality to food shopping, and shopping in general, and hopefully I will carry this intentionality with me throughout my life.